If there are stories coming out of the enchanting wild of Africa, it is through Wilbur Smith. And if from Afghanistan, well it has to be Khaled Hosseini. The world-renowned author has previously penned down bestsellers like ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘The Thousand Splendid Suns’. This is his third novel (And The Mountains Echoed), after a gap of around six years. Again, this novel is, too, back staged against the stony, windy land of Afghanistan. From the Hosseini’s novels, it stands out that this land knows nothing but hardship and tragedy and pain.
"You want a story and I will tell you one," Hosseini begins and takes us to 1952.
A father is telling his children a tale as old as time as they begin their journey through the deep valleys and majestic mountain towards Kabul. Pari, the three-year-old daughter, has an unusually powerful bond to his elder brother Abdullah. He has been her protector, a shoulder to rely on, and a source of happiness to each other all this time. The two siblings do not understand the horrible fate that is approaching them, the echoes of the coming event will change their course of lives upside down. A sacrifice has to be made, a decision, like a small ripple in the water, that's all it takes, which will haunt through the leaps of time. There will be loss, deception, trauma, and age-old scars yet redemption with a bit of twist.
Hosseini is the magician who can take his reader throughout the story with a flow like poetry. Though this book is severely intense and one of the hardest to read, yet, this could keep you hooked with a yearning you hoped from the very beginning.
This novel was high on hopes for the Hosseini fans. You might enjoy as how the author took his own sweet time to narrate this story from the perspective of his multiple characters (kind of interconnected short stories). It may surprise you to see how every character was developed intense, how each of them had an equally important story to tell. It almost seemed like an invisible chasm between all of them which unknowingly caused a bigger contribution soon. How with the unraveling of the mysteries of their lives, their actions echoed.
Above everything else which may have appealed to you most is that this old Afghanistan is full of privation, it scares people who live there and who left, there is conflict, oppression of identity. Yet the book celebrates the magical bond between a brother and his sister.
It shows people with passionate and unconventional desires, their choice of expression and freedom, we see both sides of our close-to-heart relationships. This book is highly recommend to anyone who wants to experience a heart-wrenching story with twists and turns along with a tapestry of true chemistry of emotions that will leave the readers thinking and speechless.