I was visiting a friend for the evening, and as I was getting my coat on to leave, this book caught my eye on her bookshelf. Meaning, the name Khaled Hosseini did. I’ve already read ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, both of which are incredible. I didn’t even know he had another book out, and instantly asked to borrow it.
Hosseini’s latest creation is once again something that grips you and doesn’t let go. It is actually the book that inspired me to create this blog!
So, the story is set across different times, cities, countries, continents, worlds even. From the harsh village of 50’s era Shadbagh, Afghanistan, to the beauty of France in the 70’s, to modern day America. Each chapter gives a wildly different view point of many different characters, starting off with a little boy and his sister, whose story affects the lives of families across the globe. Hosseini has an amazing talent for writing from the perspective of so many different cultures, personalities and view points. The switch from an ageing Afghan uncle to a vibrant, French mathematician; from the cruel reality of a struggling father, to the innocent mind of a war criminal’s son. The way this man sees everybody’s world is something we can all learn from.
In all of Hosseini’s books, he uses connections and links between different worlds, and I find myself pulled by the heart strings in every one. I can’t actually decide if this is a positive or a negative, but I found myself desperately needing to find out more about the lives of these characters. There are far too many unanswered questions, untold parts of the story. What happened to Iqbal? How did Abe get from Shadbagh to Pakistan, to America? What is Roshi’s story? Despite the disappointment in not learning the whole story of these people, I think the intention is to show how many people’s lives can be touched and affected by one event, how one person’s decision can ripple out across the world. You may know nothing about it, you may see a glimpse or a flash, but you will never know the whole story.
I must say, I was slightly disappointed with the ending. I felt like the story was leading up to either a heartwarming finale, or a devastating heartbreak, or something! But it was all very slow to conclude; a little sad, yes, but on the whole missing something. Saying that, I would highly recommend And The Mountains Echoed to anyone and everyone, especially if you’ve read Hosseini’s previous works.
I’d give it an 8/10