Thursday, December 05, 2013

Book Review: And The Mountains Echoed

I've been a fan of Khaled Hosseini ever since I read his A Thousand Splendid Suns on holiday a few years ago. The author of The Kite Runner is on our watch list, as we waited for news of another book from his skilled pen. Back in the summer, his third novel was published, again set in Afghanistan, and was devoured while on summer holidays.

And The Mountains Echoed is a wonderful tapestry, with the threads of many lives being woven together through several generations. The reader is drawn in to the vivid and powerful story telling, as each chapter gives you another little piece of the jigsaw of the big picture. What Hosseini captures so well in this novel is that no man is an island - each of us coming with particular backgrounds and experiences, yet they feed and merge and join together in society in all sorts of ways.

The emphasis on family is the key to the book, as the various generations are recounted in great detail. The beginning of each chapter really invites the reader to be present in the scene, with the sights and sounds and smells and tastes of life in Afghanistan, without the name of the main character being revealed. The mystery carries the reader along, with sympathies formed and re-formed as more information is shared and the story develops.

As with his previous books, there can sometimes be painful and severe moments, but it's probably a fairly accurate depiction of life anywhere in the world, if not especially Afghanistan.

If you like stories, you'll certainly enjoy And the Mountains Echoed. It's available from Amazon and on Kindle.

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