Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed

Oh Khaled Hosseini! How your words both move me to go see the places so dense with history and warn me of why I shouldn’t. And the Mountains Echoed is a beautiful paradox composed of the tenderest emotions shared between family and confidants and the harsh reality of a war torn country and what it reduces it’s inhabitants to. In a expansive web of characters spanning the US, Europe and the middle East, Hosseini weaves together generations of life-altering decisions that all culminate in coming face to face with the truths that have been kept from them.

This is definitely one of Hosseini’s lighter books, especially after reading A Thousand Splendid Suns (which I balled through the entirety of) because it touches on softer emotions like the love between brother and sister, the devotion of a daughter to her ailing father, and the kindness of a foreign doctor. What I loved about these characters is that their struggles were actually approachable for someone with “first-world problems”. And their struggles weren’t viewed as flaws but instead as what makes them the strong, if not stubborn, individuals that they are. I am a big fan of this whole trend in literature where stories cross generations and come to a satisfying ending which is what I got from And the Mountains Echoed. No, it wasn’t exactly a happy ending but I think that all the pieces fell into place neatly and no story was wasted or used as filler. And to be fair, it was a bittersweet ending. My personal favorite character was the Greek doctor Markos and his story of growing up in Greece and what led him to Afghanistan.

Everyone in the story has a family story clouded by poor judgement and each chapter delves deeper and deeper into how far the consequences of those poor judgement reach. I enjoyed reading this book and I recommend reading it.

Has anyone else read And the Mountains Echoed or any other of Hosseini’s books?


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