Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama
Another brilliant novel by this wonderful author that I have come to love. A commendable feat for him is that his books live up to the hype that surrounds it. He has 3 published novels till date (one of which I have previously reviewed here) and unfortunately I have not yet had the pleasure of reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, but I’ll b
e sure to grab a copy on my next rarity of a book haul.
It is similar to The Kite Runner in that we can see the characters’ growing up in front of us, from childhood to adulthood and the setting as well – I believe all his novels revolve around Afghanistan. He draws from the turbulent history that shaped the country, the impeccable hospitality and culture of the Afghans, his own personal experience of political asylum his family sought in America and his profession of having been a practising doctor prior to becoming a full-time author. (I’m a bit of an author trivia geek)
Unlike The Kite Runner, where the story is kept to one generation, And The Mountain
s Echoed has a wider timeline due to it being across two generations, keeping in line with Hosseini’s theme of family. It is an enthralling tale, or tales I should say, because the novel is multi dimensional. The stories given to the minor characters have be
en told with a vividness that is still clear in my mind, without suffering the Too-Many-Characters-Syndrome of Kamila Shamsie, and it is mind boggling how all of it contributes to the bigger picture of the plot. Everything is interconnected, like a spider web.
There are some loose ends from the minor characters that I personally feel I would have liked to know more about. About Idris and Timur, Gholam and his siblings. Is Pari taking care of them now, after she hunted down Iqbal to follow the trail of her brother? Sigh. These little things. I say little because they don’t take away the charm of the book. It won’t gnaw away at your brain like the mid season finale of a tv show. And fear not, this is not any form of spoiler for you when you give this book a go. 🙂
The ending is not a typical happy ending that you might wish for, but it’s just fitting, how it is. You put the book down feeling like you’ve just had a front row seat to the unimaginably different lives people lead from you, just a “spitting distance away”.
“The glimpses Gholam had allowed Adel into his life suggested an existence rife with trouble, unpredictability, hardship, but also adventure, a life worlds removed from Adel’s own, though it unfolded practically within spitting distance of him. Listening to Gholam’s stories, Adel’s own life sometimes struck him as hopelessly dull.”
Let me know what you think of Hosseini’s work and if you have any similar book recommendations for me!