“It’s a funny thing… but people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really, what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.”
And The Mountains Echoed has been on my TBR pile longer than any other book. I loved Khaled Hosseini‘s other books A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner, so I’m still not sure why it took me this long to finally pick this one up… But what I can say is that I didn’t enjoy And The Mountains Echoed as much as the other two titles. I felt there were simply too many different storylines and settings for it to form something cohesive, and I actually had difficulties keeping track of the different characters at points. The general idea of following a family that has been separated over time is really interesting. I enjoyed the descriptions of the different locations and cultures that are involved in the story and Khaled Hosseini is able to describe the human relationships perfectly as always. Still, like I said before, seen as a whole it almost felt like an information and character overload. Leaving out the whole storyline set in Greece would probably have helped keeping the overall story a bit more simple… Something that probably would have made me enjoy this read a whole lot better. Still, it’s an interesting enough read to recommend if you enjoy the genre.
Back in 1952 Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in a small village in Afghanistan. Their father is constantly struggling to find work to provide for his family, and one day he sees no other option than sell one of his children. Abdullah will do anything for his little sister and is almost like a father to her. When they cross the desert together with their father to Kabul, they don’t know they are about to be separated from each other… Something that will mark Abdullah for the rest of his life and will affect little Pari in ways she will only understand when she is older. Their lives have been torn apart; will they be able to find each other again one day? Where in the world will life take them, and how will their choices affect their future?
And The Mountains Echoed is by no means a bad read and actually quite interesting and well written. Still, I cannot forget that I was feeling disappointed by this read. I have loved Khaled Hosseini‘s other books and this one simply isn’t up to the same standard. It’s good, with interesting prose and characters, but the book as a whole felt a bit chaotic and I think it would have been better to leave out part of the characters (the Greek storyline for example). If you like the genre, you will probably enjoy this read; just don’t make the same mistake that I did and compare And The Mountains Echoed to his other books…