And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini … Review by Yokibu Editorial
Posted on: May 15, 2021.

This is the review of Mr. Hosseini’s third novel published in 2013. Unlike his previous works, the story deals with multiple characters rather than being based on and revolving around just a single character.

The story begins with the relationship between a little boy Abdullah and his younger sister Pari—the Farsi word for “fairy”—who were “everything to each other”, and their abrupt, tragic separation.

There are other sibling characters in this story too—sisters Parwana and Masooma—along with their elder brother “Uncle Nabi” and later “Kaka Nabi”—and brothers Timur and Idris.

Saboor is Abdullah and Pari’s father while Parwana is their stepmother, and Nabi their step-uncle. Nabi is both cook and chauffeur for Mr. Suleiman Wahdati and his wife Nila, a wealthy couple in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Mr. Bashiri and his two sons Timur and Idris live in the same street as Mr. Wahdati in Kabul. While Timur is a businessman, Idris is a doctor.

Amra Ademovic is a Bosnian nurse helping victims in war-torn Afghanistan who has taken responsibility to fight for Roshana “Roshi”, a war victim, who eventually develops a niece-uncle relationship with Idris.

This is in the midst of a terrible time faced by Afghanis including attacks from the Soviet invasion, the Taliban, and many other militant/terrorist factions from which Afghanistan is struggling to recover.

Dr. Markos is a plastic surgeon whose non-biological daughter is Thalia. Adel is the son of a wealthy war criminal whose belief that his father is a hero has been falsely imposed on him—a truth that shatters him.

Thalia has a facial disfigurement after being attacked by a dog, and is abandoned by her “beautiful” mother. Though Dr. Markos offers to repair her looks, she decides to keep her disfigurement as her identity.

As the story proceeds, Idris turns out to be a person incapable of keeping up his promises, and Abdullah is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s due to which he is later unable to recognize Pari when she unites with him.

As characters, while Abdullah and Pari share an unbreakable bond of pure love and belonging, Nabi dutifully serves Mr. Wahdati—whose wife leaves him when he is paralyzed by a stoke—for 53 years!

And the Mountains Echoed is an exquisite novel, beautifully written and masterfully crafted which raises proper, deep questions about the limits of love, portrayed by many strong female characters.

A lot of short stories intertwine with each other and reflects what life is mostly all about—having turned out to be entirely different from what we expected it to be—as events and incidents take a predestined course.

The book brings together such characters that have their own internal struggles, bonds, and mischiefs, yet are unknowingly sharing the same fateful journey, interconnected in a very deep and touching tale.

This is a story that will surely leave you with a heartache and a smile, making you understand that life can’t always be the way we planned but still we somehow manage to survive.

From Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos, the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed vividly describes each character’s viewpoint and lets the readers decide the protagonists and the antagonists. This book is a must-read and highly recommended.

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