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Book Review on Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed

I loved both The Kite Flyer and A thousand splendid suns. In both novels, emotions attack you and continue like a bull on the run. The mountains echoed it starts this way. But the rest of the novel sneaks into the cracks of your mind and grabs you. Here’s how it begins: A poor Afghan farmer tells his two sons, Abdullah and Pari, the story of an evil monster who forces a family to hand over one of their children or the monster will kill them all. The family decides to do it at random and the selected one is their favorite. The father is beyond the pain for his son believing, surely, that the monster has eaten his son. The father makes a pilgrimage to the monster’s castle only to find the son alive, healthy and prosperous. He decides to leave the son instead of bringing him back to intense poverty. As the poor Afghan farmer tells this story to his children, he says: “They had to cut off a finger to save the hand.”

He was interested in how Hosseini came up with the title. He said he got it from a line by William Blake, “And all the hills echoed.” He changed “hills” to mountains to represent the mighty terrain of Afghanistan. I look at it this way. When a person in the mountains shouts, it echoes from the top of the mountain to the top of the mountain. This is how this novel is ordered. With the poor farmer’s single act of cutting off the finger to save the hand, the farmer sets off a series of events that will bounce from character to character. Hosseini says, “I followed the ripples of that first story, and that became the trunk of the tree and then all the other branches sprouted from that.” There are 8 different stories. Some may find the narrative confusing because of this (a different narrator for each chapter). Hosseini goes from chapter to chapter with different points of view and a different style. Also, with all the Afghan names, it can be a bit tricky trying to keep everyone in order.

The main characters:

Abdullah, although it only appears at the beginning and end. Conclude the narrative of the novel and it will bring tears to your eyes.

Bet: Sister of Abdullah. She is the catalyst for the narrative. She also helps complete the circle of things.

Mr. Wahdati: A rich, gay man who marries Nila, a “disgraced” wealthy woman who cannot have children.

Nabi: Butler and driver of Mr. Wahdati. He is also the uncle of Abdullah and Pari.

Dr. Varvaris: Plastic surgeon who moves to Kabul to perform reconstructive surgery on children. He finally lives in Mr. Wahdati’s house and discovers the secret about Pari and Abdullah.

There are a number of other interesting characters that help Mr. Hosseini complete his theme: “Life just doesn’t care about our aspirations or sadness. It is often random, and often stupid and often completely unexpected and the closings and the epiphanies. and revelations that we end up getting reluctantly from life rarely turn out to be what we think (we would have). ” We can see Nila in chapter two being greedy and selfish. Then, in another chapter, we see her as a tragic poet and a devoted mother. Then in another chapter, we see her as an alcoholic narcissist. Two characters that I really enjoyed because I felt like I was getting to know them were Dr. Varvaris’s mother, Odie, and her lifelong friend, ThalĂ­a. Neither has anything to do with Pari or Abdullah, but they really exemplify the Hosseini theme.

The writing is great. This one hit home because I am a woman of a certain age: Pari sees herself in a store window, “She catches herself off guard, vulnerable to reality without being distorted by self-deception. She sees a woman. middle-aged in a drab, loose blouse. and a beach skirt that doesn’t sufficiently hide the sagging folds of skin over her kneecaps. The sun highlights her gray hair … now she has a face in which the gaze of a passerby meets it will hook and then bounce, like a street sign or a mailbox number would … “Or, Nila in an interview for a Paris magazine:” I felt lost. I read … that if an avalanche buries you and you’re lying under all that snow, you can’t tell which way is up or down. You want to dig up, but you choose the wrong way, and you sink into your own demise. This is how I felt, disoriented, suspended in confusion, stripped of my compass. “There are many beautifully written passages how are you in The mountains echoed.

This would be a great selection for a book club. I am leading my book group discussion on this novel and I know we will discuss loss, abandonment, honesty, loyalty, beauty, and poverty.

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