Title : And the Mountains Echoed
Author : Khaled Hosseini
Publication date : February 29th, 2012
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Genre : Adult | Contemporary – Historical Fiction
Synopsis : So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…
Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters.
To Abdullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled.
One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.
Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us. (From Goodreads)
“I now know that some people feel unhappiness the way others love: privately, intensely, and without recourse.”
Here’s the thing guys. For the past few days I’ve been opening up this draft, looking at the blank screen, closing it again and just watching a bunch of youtube videos. PROCRASTINATION AT ITS FINEST. But the real reason for that is that I really don’t know how to review this book, I’m finding it so so hard to just gather up my thoughts into coherent sentences. My brains are failing me and I don’t understand why, because I really LOVED reading this book and all the experiences it held. Let’s try this again. Take 3:
The way this book is written felt so special, it infilrates your body without you even noticing until it has a firm hold on your heart and by the time you do notice, it is too late and you are doomed to feel everything the author wants you to feel. But seriously, the ways Husseini combines words, I swear, it produces magic of some kind. It is so simple and yet intricate and effective. And the Mountains Echoed is written in multiples POVs –more like a gazillion, but that’s beside the point- and I normally wouldn’t like that, but here it just made sense, it was the natural order of things.
Be warned, this a purely character driven story so if that’s not your thing, you might find this story boring. But I didn’t. It starts with little siblings’ story, a boy –Abdullah– and a girl –Pari– that get separated as kids from the little boy’s POV and then it goes to their stepmother, stepuncle –Nabi, his employer and friend –Suleiman, some Neighbors –The Bachiris, and some other people that crossed paths with these, coming back to Pari’s side of things. And they’re are all connected in one way or the other. This book is centered around relationships, all kinds -Siblinghood, Parenthood, Friendship, Romantic ones etcetera etcetera- and they are portrayed in such a genuine way that I couldn’t help relate in some aspects, especially with most of these people being muslims. My favorites were Markos and Tania, Little Pari and Abdullah ans last but noot least Suleiman and Nabi.
This story also evolves through a very long period of time following the characters from their youth until they’re old and in some cases dead which not only gives a deeper insight into their lives and thoughts but it also feels like I was living with them and experiencing everything they did. Not only that, but I could also witness Kabul’s deterioration from being a thriving city to the rise of the Talibans and the aftermath. It also deals with a variety of social issues such as povery, bribery, opression, injustice, betrayal and even terrorism though the later wasn’t really a focal point of the story.
I honestly loved all the characters, even the ones I hated. They were just so diverse and came from so many backgrounds that I felt like everyone can find a piece of themselves in the book. I know I did. There were some strong ones, cowards, liars, thieves, open-minded -A woman too modern for her own good and culture- as well as narrow-minded people. Some that were born and grew up in Afghanistan, some that fled it, some that weren’t even born there, as well as some that just went there to help. Some –
most– of the experiences they lived were really hard and heartbreaking and the little rare glimpses of happiness really shone through. And all of them impacted me in some way or another which I really appreciated.
The ending was bitter sweet to me, it made me happy as much as it broke my heart. All the tales were wrapped up nicely and it felt like everything came full circle even though not the happily ever after, but it was perfectly imperfect and summed everything because this book is meant to be flawed and it achieved that greatly.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read And the Mountains Echoed? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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