And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

and the mountains echoedBlown like leaves in the wind…

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Publication due 21st May 2013

“A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.”

Within the first few pages of this book, the reader knows s/he’s in the hands of a master storyteller. In a village in rural Afghanistan, mid 1940s, a father tells a folk tale to his two young children. On the next day, they will travel to Kabul and start a chain of events that will take the reader on a journey across the world and through the decades.

Khaled Hosseini(source: wikimedia)
Khaled Hosseini
(source: wikimedia)

The novel is made up of a series of linked and interlinked stories about members of this one family, their descendants and people whose lives they touch. Hosseini takes us back and forwards in time but each episode tells a whole story of one of the characters. This made the book feel in some ways like a collection of short stories rather than a novel, but Hosseini brings us round in a perfect circle and the last few chapters bring all these disparate episodes into one immensely moving whole.

The beauty of the writing is only matched by the humanity of the characters. Hosseini takes us inside their minds and their hearts and we see them laid bare, essentially good people but with their flaws and weaknesses exposed, to us and to themselves. Although much of the book takes place in Europe and America, Afghanistan remains at the heart of it because it remains in the hearts of the characters, even though they may have become part of the war- and poverty-driven diaspora.

Peacock_feathers_closeupA beautiful and very moving book that brought me to tears on several occasions, this isn’t fundamentally about politics or war; it is about the unforgettable people who populate its pages – about humanity. And though there is sadness and sorrow here, there is also love and joy and a deep sense of hope. Highly recommended.

NB This book was provided for review by Amazon Vine UK.

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

11 thoughts on “And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

  1. I like the concept of the interlinked stories. Very intriguing. Have you read his other novels? If so, I’d be curious to hear your opinion on how similar or different you found this new novel by comparison.

    • I haven’t read either of his other books – have you? I tend to avoid anything about war and I think that put me off The Kite Runner – a mistake, I now realise, soon to be rectified.

      At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the changes of focus in this one, but as the links became clearer, I loved it. Some of the stories are long enough almost to be novellas in their own right. I don’t think I’ve wept that much since Bambi’s mother died, though;-)

      • I’ve read The Kite Runner, and it was solid. My curiosity stems more from a question of is it just more of the same. From your description, though, it sounds like a fresh approach for Hosseini. I’ll definitely have to keep my eyes on this one.

  2. Oh dear………….this doesn’t bode well for dry eyed equilibrium…….I’m afrad I started weeping at your review – the last paragraph hit my weepometer.

    I will take your recommendation and make sure I get an extra box of tissues and only read at home. I HAVE been caught out before by fine and meaningful writing whilst on public transport and been reduced to a soggy state while strangers around me either get up hurriedly and move away, or conversely, try to comfort me!

    • No, this is definitely NOT a read on the bus one! I’m afraid I didn’t make it past page 5 without a hanky – but it’s the beauty of the writing and the truth of the characters that causes the tears, not any kind of mawkish sentimentality. You will love this, I’m certain of that (well, 99% certain, anyway). 🙂

  3. It is even now winging its way to a letterbox somewhere near me! Thanks for the recc and will practice my new found pingy skills in new course (that is if I can ever be dry eyed enough to manage the skills needed to do html through a vale of tears!)

  4. Hope is the key word here in your review…I’ve read the other works of Khaled Hosseini, and he is a master story teller, but I am often not left with any hope for the people of Afghanistan in the end. I’ll have to read this one. Thanks for the review.

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