Book: And The Mountains Echoed
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Historical & Family Drama
Synopsis: Ten year old Abdullah would do anything for his younger sister. In a life of poverty and struggle, with no mother to care for them, Pari is the only person who brings Abdullah happiness. When their father sets off with Pari across the desert to Kabul in search of work, Abdullah is determined not to be separated from her. Little do both of them know what this fateful journey means for their future. In a story that brings forth themes of sacrifice, courage, regret, family strains, heartbreak, hope and bonds of love, you follow an exciting journey between siblings whose love for each other will leave you speechless.
If you’re an avid Khaled Hosseini fan, you are probably familiar with his style of writing. The stories are usually based in Afghanistan, marred by the war experienced in the country during the past. The characters are well developed and the story is well narrated with the effect of drawing you in and making you relate to the characters and the situation that they are in. This book was no different. Abdullah and Pari’s story moves to show how people’s actions have a role to play in other people’s life stories. Actions that seem to have little to no consequence to one person have a life altering consequences to another.
While reading this book, I kept wondering how its title ties to the story. Within two chapters of my reading, I could see a pattern and the title made so much sense. The book’s prologue is set on a fable being narrated to the children about a father who has make a deep sacrifice in order to save his family. To quote, “A finger had to be cut to save the hand.” This then becomes the recurrent theme in the story, from character to character, showing how sometimes life can force you to make choices you never thought you could and with these choices comes the difficult consequences.
My advice to anyone who’s thinking of grabbing themselves a copy of this book is, grab it! You’ll enjoy the story, and your curiosity will be gripped throughout the book because essentially, the question you really want answered is, “What happens to Abdulla and Pari?”. I must however leave a disclaimer that this book requires some concentration to its consumption. Or maybe that was just me? I’m not sure but I didn’t fly through it as I normally do with other books. The nature of its writing, the time jumps and sudden changes in characters and scenes meant I had to actually concentrate on my reading so as to see how each character related to the rest and their role in the story. All the same, its a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you will too!
“They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.”
“I learned that the world didn’t see the inside of you, that it didn’t care a whit about the hopes and dreams, and sorrows, that lay masked by skin and bone. It was as simple, as absurd, and as cruel as that.”
“When you have lived as long as I have, the div replied, you find that cruelty and benevolence are but shades of the same color.”
“Human behavior is messy and unpredictable and unconcerned with convenient symmetries.”
“All good things in life are fragile and easily lost.”
(Cover image courtesy of Willian Justen).