Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: And the Mountains Echoed

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Housseini
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Release Date: May 21, 2013

An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

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.
Taken from Goodreads

Start: 2/12/2014  |  End: 2/19/2014  |  Pages: 404  |  Rating: 4 Stars 

My Thoughts:

Wow. I have never read anything by Khaled Housseini, not even Kite Runner surprisingly, and I am not sure why. Why have I never picked up any of his books before?

If I recall correctly from book club, Kite Runner is supposed to focus on fathers and sons. A Thousand Splendid Suns is supposed to focus on mothers and daughters. And this book here focuses on siblings, which it does to some extent. It also features a multiple number of characters all related to each other somehow. 

I absolutely loved reading this book. Every chapter has a specific story to it, so it's kind of like a collection of short stories. Throughout the chapter, I always looked for a link that connected the characters to characters from another chapter. For example, there's a chapter on Abdullah and his sister Pari, then a chapter on Nila, Pari's stepmother. Later there's one on Nabi, who is the caretaker of Nila and her husband, and so on. Sometimes, the links were so subtle, that I caught myself thinking "Now where did this guy come from?"

I also want to mention what first dragged me in was the separation of Abdullah and his sister. The prologue hinted at this fact, and also foreshadowed the theme of all these short stories. What exactly makes a good person? Are you a bad person for doing that one thing? I know if I knew someone that sold their child, I would immediately think that person was horrible. But what happens if it's the best for that child?

Why did this novel have to be so good?! Like sure it didn't make me cry as much as in The Fault of Our Stars, but tears were shed.

SPOILER! Highlight at own risk :)
For everyone that's already read the book: I CANNOT believe that Pari and Abdullah finally reunited at the end of the book, but he ended up having Alzheimer's! And now he will never actually know that he reunited with her. I am super mad about this. I really wanted a happy ending, but I kind of understand why it couldn't have been one.
Here are some quotes that destroyed me:

“I learned that the world didn't see the inside of you, that it didn't care a whit about the hopes and dreams, and sorrows, that lay masked by skin and bone. It was as simple, as absurd, and as cruel as that.” 

“Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.” 

“All good things in life are fragile and easily lost”

“You say you felt a presence, but I only sensed an absence. A vague pain without a source. I was like a patient who cannot tell the doctor where it hurts, only that it does.”

Everyone needs to read this.
If you do, you will understand what I mean by everything being connected.

4 stars. Go read it. Now. 

Seriously, this is an amazing novel that is popular for a reason. It explains life realistically, and also how everyone is connected. It doesn't focus on the Taliban, or history in general. Just on people and their lives.


  1. Great review I have read The Kite Runner and it's heart wrenching and beautiful, haven't read this one yet hope to read it soon.
    P.S. followed you :)
    Rimsha @Ramblings of a Bookworm

    1. Yay thanks for the follow!

      I still need to read the Kite Runner, but from what I heard, And the Mountains Echoed focuses more on the people than on the actual groups, like the Taliban.


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