Title: And the Mountains Echoed
Author: Khaled Hosseini
I wanted to read this book since it came out. But I was never lucky enough to get it in my Library and I was more than happy when I could borrow it. And I hoped that Hosseini won’t let me down.
It’s really hard to write what this story is actually about because there are so many narratives and their stories are creating integrity of one story. Each of those characters is having an important role in this book and all of them are somehow connected. But the main theme is a story of a brother and sister, Abdullah and Pari. They live in a small Afghanistan village, where life is incredibly hard and each day is a struggle for survival. And those hard conditions are also a reason why brother and sister have to separate. In this separation are involved several various people and their stories are creating a bigger story of this book.
Their stories are different because they belong to different social classes. There are narratives who are extremely poor and some who have all the power and wealth. The story also doesn’t take place in the same time period, but skips between different periods varying from 1949 to 2010.
Hosseini knows how to write a beautiful book that will surely break reader’s heart. Language is beautiful and his descriptions of scenes, events, as well as people and their tragic fates, are breathtaking.
The first thing which really attached me in this book was a multitude of different narrators and their stories. Descriptions of a hard life, embedded in a completely different culture and reflections of different individuals. How at times people can be completely devoted to fate and accepting (current) situations. But mainly the tragic separation of Abdullah and Pari. Pari, who was, as a little girl, sold to wealthy family, where she should had better life and conditions to live in. And on the outside she really had everything. At first when she lived in wealth and later when she avoided war when her “mother” took her to Paris. Yet, at the end her life was no better than Abdullah’s, who stayed in Afganistan and later fled from the war. Each of them has had a hard life.
At first, I had some problems with jumping between different time periods and life stories of different narrators but this also makes this book more interesting and genuine. It seemed interesting to me how Afganistan changed through time, from the time when it was on it’s highest point and later when it was destroyed by war. And how people were looking on this when they found themselves under certain conditions. And how did the poor and wealthy people comprehended the time before and after the war.
Certainly, Hosseini is master of relationships between people. I can’t name any other author who would be able to outline relationships within families and between people in this way like Hosseini does. Love, hate, disappointment, hope, all this emotions, and feelings are beautifully poured into a story. And his characters become so alive and real.
Despite everything, I would just add that this is my least favorite Hosseini book so far. I liked The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns more but, of course, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t absolutely loved this one also and I can’t wait for next one to be published.