The Norman Transcript

N-town reviews

July 5, 2013

Book review: And the Mountains Echoed tells flawless story of love, sorrow

NORMAN — Book: And the Mountains Echoed (2013, Riverhead Hardcover)

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Why you should read: Resting at No. 3 on both the New York Times and USA Today’s bestseller lists, Khaled Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed” is yet another masterpiece to be devoured by fans and newcomers alike.

From the same talented mind that created “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” comes a story filled with beauty, love and sorrow that spans continents and connects not only with readers’ minds but their hearts.

In “And the Mountains Echoed,” the subject of family is taken and molded in several different ways. Hosseini shows readers the consequences of decisions made to hurt, protect, betray and honor family, and how they resonate through time. The opening pages set the tone for the rest of the story, beginning with a folk tale of a man who must give up one of his only children to a beast in order to save the rest of his family. The old man telling the story, Saboor, uses the tale as a way to make his own son, Abdullah, understand his coming plans.

The resulting separation of Abdullah from his sister, Pari, is a blow both characters and readers must bear, and the pages only become more and more emotional. The characters in this story, including Abdullah’s stepmother and her brother, overlap and entwine with one another. Some are aware of that fact and some aren’t. Ultimately, the pages seem to turn on their own, and the deeper the story goes, the more interesting it gets.

All in all, Hosseini has done a wonderful job in creating this globe-spanning novel. His knack for flawless writing and description keep the interest rock solid, and he provokes a myriad of emotions through it all. However, the excess characters do slow the story down a bit, and the urge to get back to the main characters is strong on occasion. But in the end, the overall satisfaction for the read is well worth it.

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