25 December, 2013

Book Review: And The Mountains Echoed

From Goodreads: Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled.
One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.
Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

Thoughts: I had high expectations for this book as I loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I'm pleased to say I wasn't disappointed.
Hosseini is a master storyteller. He weaves the threads of the story so perfectly it's seamless. The reader is let into secrets the characters will never know. You hold you breath as you wonder when or if the characters are going to find out that one crucial piece of information, or will they meet before it is too late.
Hosseini exposes both the beauty and brutality of Afghanistan. His characters are flawed and damaged, unable to keep promises or realise their full potential. Never read one of his books expecting a happy ending, but do expect to be spell bound and touched by a writer whose books are bound to become classics.