Review of “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini
by Richard Mansel
How does one describe beauty? What adjectives and metaphors do we conjure?
Years ago, I was in the library and took a chance on a novel from Afghanistan called, The Kite Runner. I knew nothing about it. Soon, I was absorbed by the gorgeous writing and heartbreaking story.
Later, I devoured A Thousand Splendid Suns when it was released. Then, silence.
Since I was always keeping abreast of new releases, I would sometimes make sure I had not missed a book by Hosseini.
Years went by, and I saw a tweet that he would soon have a new book. I was exuberant!
I knew when I secured a copy, it would be a great book. I was unprepared for how true that would be. Hosseini’s third novel is extraordinary even by his standards. His characters and details are powerful. He is in full command of his craft.
And the Mountains Echoed is an unforgettable story of love, family, memories and the fragility of life. As a storyteller, Hosseini has few peers and as a writer, he can weave a magic spell:
“When I was a little girl, my father had a nightly ritual. After I’d said my twenty-one Bismillahs and he had tucked me into bed, he would sit at my side and pluck bad dreams from my head with his thumb and forefinger. His fingers would hop from my forehead to my temples, patiently searching behind my ears, at the back of my head, and he’d make a pop sound–like a bottle being uncorked–with each nightmare he purged from my brain. He stashed the dreams, one by one, into an invisible sack in his lap and pulled the drawstring tightly. He would them scour the air, looking for happy dreams to replace the ones he had sequestered away.”
Hosseini tells a devastating story about a family torn apart like the country around them. As an astute student of mankind, Hosseini weaves a fascinating tale that grabs the hearts of his readers as he follows the characters through the years of victory and pain.
Anyone who loves great writing will be spellbound his this novel. It is highly recommended!