And The Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (21 May 2013)
  • Source : Amazon Vine
  • My Rating : 4.5 stars

It’s been six years since the publication of Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling second novel A Thousand Splendid Suns and his fans have been eagerly awaiting his latest novel.   Hosseini has said that it focuses more on the relationship between siblings rather than tales of fatherhood and motherhood.  This is true but it also differs from his previous novels in other ways.

This is an epic multi-generational family saga starting in the 1950s with a variety of settings – from Afghanistan to France, from Greece to the United States.  Siblings Pari and Abdullah are devoted to each other but their paths take very  different directions early on in their lives.  Hosseini uses his skill as a master storyteller to weave a complicated pattern of family stories which take off in different directions.  The narrative is quite complex, flitting between eras, characters and locations but Hosseini is always firmly in control, pulling the strings and easing the reader’s journey.

I found the descriptions of siblings Abdullah and Pari’s childhood the most evocative and moving.  Also, the story of their Uncle Nabi in Kabul and his dedication to his employer left a big impression on me.  Less effective for me were the Greek interlude and the story of the Afghan Warlord Baba Jan – yes, they were linked to the main story but I found them less engrossing and found myself mistaking Baba Jan for a reincarnation of an earlier character – mea culpa!

The final section of the novel, set in the US, was the piece de resistance for me.  I won’t give away any spoilers but, suffice to say, Hosseini expertly captures the effects of age with quiet, understated but supremely powerful writing – a quiet domestic scene between siblings can be as, if not more, effective than all the battle scenes one can conjure.

And The Mountains Echoed lacks the gut-wrenching impact of Hosseini’s previous novels but it remains a compelling read.  I have no doubt it will be a bestseller.  Now, how long do we have to wait for the next volume??  Not that we’re impatient…

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6 Comments

  1. JoAnn says:

    I loved both of Hosseini’s previous novels and can’t wait to read this one. Glad to know you enjoyed it!

  2. admin says:

    JoAnn, I was very lucky to get an ARC. I could physically feel the envious glances of bookish friends! He’s such an accomplished storyteller and of course, families are always intriguing. :-)

  3. I’ll definitely be getting my hands on this when it’s released. I adored Hosseini’s previous two novels.

  4. admin says:

    Hi Paula, I’m more of a Rice Krispies/any cheap generic alternative sort of girl but we won’t fall out over that! You’ll love the journey that Hosseini takes you on in this novel.

  5. Have been waiting to see how people find this latest and it looks like it doesn’t disappoint. Can’t wait to read it either.

  6. admin says:

    It’s a compelling story, Claire.

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