#LiteraryFiction: And the Mountains Echoed
by Khaled Hosseini
Expert Book Review & Analysis
Expert Book Reviews presents a comprehensive review, analysis and plot summary of Khaled Hosseini's novel And the Mountains Echoed.
This is an epic tale set in the mold of Doctor Zhivago, in which the lives of the characters are determined, often tragically, by great historical circumstances and events that they are powerless to control. Khaled Hosseini’s story tells of a little Afghan girl’s unlikely journey with her family.
And the Mountains Echoed is a love story of a different kind. Pari, as she is named, is loved by her older brother beyond words. When she is torn from him and her family at the tender age of three, the stage is set for the suspense that will last as long as the story: will they ever meet again?
No amount of factual history can give as deep and vivid a sense of the reality of Afghanistan in the last seventy years as this story gives. Likewise, no mere reporting or film documentary can give as lucid an account of the cruel decisions forced on people living on the verge of destitution, of the nuances and characteristics of such an ancient, complex and reactionary, but proud country as Afghanistan. It’s no wonder that empires, past and present, floundered in their attempts to conquer her.
As it was for Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Afghanistan is just the setting, the background, for a profound exploration of the human soul, its capacity for good and evil, paradoxically often at the same time and by the same person.
How does Hosseini enlighten us in And the Mountains Echoed. Here are just a few of the many ways:
• The novel unblinkingly sheds light on the glory and the tawdriness that is human nature, dissecting it to show its varied shades of good and bad.
• It gives insight into the true nature of love and its nemesis, selfishness. Even then, love is not unsullied by selfishness, or selfishness necessarily condemned, but rather is sometimes portrayed as a legitimate struggle to fulfill one’s destiny.
• In that way, the story engenders humility when it comes to judging any person’s motives and actions, making it more difficult to condemn or exalt in a reflexive manner.
If you liked Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, you'll love And the Mountains Echoed.
Despite The Kite Runner being a debut novel for Hosseini, it achieved what only a handful of contemporary novels have been able to do.
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What One Reader Had To Say:
In this heart-wrenching, yet captivating novel, one will find solace in the honesty of Hosseini in revealing the pains and the joys of life as any individual goes through regardless of race, country, or religion.
What is more appealing is the way Hosseini intertwined stories of a multitude of characters without taking away the focus from the main character, Pari. These characters actually help conclude and resolve the conflict that revolves around Pari and Abdullah. Once you start reading this book, like Hosseini's other books, you will find it difficult to put it down because every bit of the story is relatable in the sense that it personifies individual struggles such as selfishness over love and greediness over goodness.
Finally what is delightful about this book is the way the author used a lot of symbolisms to romanticize the novel, which shows that this story has some sort of deep connection to him and his roots.