‘And the Mountains Echoed’ by Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains EchoedstarstarstarstarstarHosseini has proven once again, as he did with The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, that he is a master storyteller. This is a rich story about individuals and the love between a brother and a sister. He weaves in a few generations and expands the book to multiple settings, but there is a thread through it all which knits together beautifully. What strikes me about Hosseini is his ability to draw the reader in, immediately at the beginning, and with each new chapter and section. Of course we know what the ending should be in this story but we have no idea how he is going to take us there and what we will see along the way. All he provides is an echoed refrain that is unmistakable and profound. Already in the first section, when Baba uses a bedtime parable to prepare his children (and himself) for what he must do the next day,  he sets up this refrain with these words: “a finger had to be cut to save the hand” (p. 5). The very first words of the book are Baba’s words, but actually the author’s own as well. “So then. You want a story and I will tell you one.”

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