In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.
Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—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.
Pages: 416 (ebook)
Publisher: Published May 21st 2013 by Riverhead
Rating: 10 out of 10
Source: Purchased for my Nook since book club date was coming close and my spot on the wait list was still low.
Date Completed: August 13, 2013
I was very excited when both the book clubs that I am in selected And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini to read for the same month. Every since I knew the book was coming, I put myself on the wait list at the library. Many people had the same idea as me and I realized that I was not going to get the book in time for the first meeting and decided to purchase my own copy. With my limited reading time and energy, the fact that I finished the book in a week should stand alone as my recommendation.
I have read both of Hosseini's previous novels and this is my favorite by far. The characters are diverse and connect to each other in some surprising ways. I loved reading the different frames of parent-child, partner, and family relationships. Each story and narrator was unique, but I loved how everyone was tied together with a desire to reconcile memory and longing for home with reality. During both book club discussions, some people thought that there were too many characters and that the switching of narrators was hard to follow. I certainly wanted to hear more from some characters and less from others, but I liked the different perspectives. The following quote captures my experience of reading the book:
“A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.”
One of my favorite characters is the only Pari whose adult life is marked by the feeling that something is missing. I was cheering for her so strongly and was glad with the resolution of her story line. Another one of my favorite characters was Markos and his revelations about his mom. I also appreciated the Alzheimer's story line and the complexity of the overlap between caretaker and parent/child relationship.
In addition to book club, I am counting this book for the following challenge:
What's in a Name Five: Many years later, I am still trying to finish this challenge. I am counting this for the category of land formation.