Tuesday, 25 June 2013

''And the Mountains Echoed''- Book review

Author: Khaled Hosseini
Published: 2013

Genres: Novel

Rating: 4 out of 5


And the Mountains Echoed is Khaled Hosseini's third novel. And what will I say? This novel was also as pleasant, as memorable, as intense, as his two previous books!

I can't really compare this book with the author's previous books, of course, because of several reasons. For example, both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Sun were set with the background of the times of trouble and unrest of Afghanistan. While in And the Mountains Echoed such background can be indeed found as well, it remains slight, because this novel, first of all, is not a historical fiction like the author's previous books.  

And the Mountains Echoed tells the story of relationships--- lost relationships that are not really lost, lost relations which remain present in the form of memory and hope, told with the background of many characters, several emotional subplots, many incidents, and many perspectives. The various subplots working as a background of the stories, with very frequent flashbacks, and perspectives of several people- make this novel an emotional, intense ride! The incidents span over decades and over continents.

The primary plot is about siblings Abdullah and Pari. The novel starts in the 1950s. Abdullah and Pari's mother died a few years ago. The two siblings live with their father, Saboor, and their stepmother, Parwana, and their half-brother Iqbal. To the three-year-old Pari, Abdullah has not only been a brother, but also like a parent. The siblings have a deep bond and deep love for each other.

Abdullah and Pari's uncle, Nabi, works as a servant and chauffeur to the rich Wahdatis in Kabul. One day, Abdullah and Pari's father takes them to Kabul to the Wahdatis. There, Abdullah and Pari are separated! The Wahdatis adopt Pari! Though they are separated, the deep love and memories that they share cannot disappear. For Abdullah, who cannot forget all the beautiful memories, it is very difficult to accept what has happened. But for Pari, at the tender age of three, memories can easily be forgotten. She comes to acknowledge the Wahdatis as her parents, and ultimately forgets Abdullah and the village where she was born- but even when she grows up, she finds that something is absent from her life, dim memories and lights come to her--- but she can't figure out what is missing. But one day, destiny may bring her to her past, one day, she may come to realize what has been missing.

The story is simple but vast, because of the characters, the subplots, the backgrounds. Told through a non-linear, varied narrative structure, the novel, as aforementioned, spans over decades, continents, and characters. I thought that the depth between the relation of Abdullah and Pari, at the beginning of the novel, had been significant but yet not enough to make it heartbreaking. However, in course of time, with the flashbacks, the novel grows intense and powerful. 

And the Mountains Echoed is not my favorite book by Hosseini. I didn't feel the deep emotions that I felt when I had read A Thousand Splendid Suns. But yet, like the author's other works, this novel was also deep and intense, simple and the storytelling was really fascinating. To be precise, I didn't love it, but I was overwhelmed by the beautiful writing style, the deep subplots, the depth in the subplots, and overall, the story!

4 out of 5


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