So, today I finished Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed. I have had such a journey with this book it is unbelievable – and I’m not even talking about the story (not just yet anyway).
The summer before my AS Levels started, I read Hosseini’s The Kite Runner as I was due to study it that year in English Literature, after adoring his first book I went on to read his second A Thousand Splendid Suns (this is becoming a list of his works now but whatever, go with it.) So, I anxiously awaited for his next book to be published, which it eventually was in 2013. This book sat on my shelf for an ENTIRE academic year, I was so busy with school and would continue to be over the summer that I lent it to my teacher, (in exchange for one of her shorter books) only to never see it return to my shelf…
So. It’s now 2016, 3 years later and I have purchased a new copy, and at long last, have read it. Here’s what I thought: (no spoilers don’t worry!)
It was brilliant, but I am not sure whether I just have an author bias. I adore Hosseini’s other works so much that I think I had too high a hope for this book and I held it to an impossibly high standard. I loved And the Mountains Echoed I thought that it was a beautiful story that illustrated love and loss in a way that made me want to know more about what each character was really feeling – which Hosseini often gave me, and in the most poetic way. “What she would rather do is lie down, listen to the wind hurl pellets of rain at the glass until she falls asleep.”
The beginning of the book was a little slow going, the opening chapter seems quite detached from the rest of the novel, but as a literary technique works really well. I was completely drawn into Pari’s story and the things that unfolded around her within the book, however when the book begins to follow the lives of characters that initially seem to be quite minor (Markus and his family) and I feel that the plot becomes slightly confusing in these sections. The ending ties up all the loose ends, and despite it being heartfelt it lacked impact and didn’t leave me with many burning questions, other than wondering why Hosseini had things turn out the way they did. I honestly did enjoy this book so much, but unfortunately his previous books will always be up there with my favourites and And the Mountains Echoed just didn’t seem to have the emotion, tragedy and impact all tied up with his poetic prose like The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns do. BUT — it is most definitely worth your time reading it.