Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed

The third novel by Khaled Hosseini “And the Mountains Echoed” is a family saga following the lives of multiple characters across decades in several countries including Afghanistan, Greece, USA and France (plus some events in India). The book is more of a collection of several character’s short life stories all tied together around a single family. The book goes back and forth with several characters narration which might be a bit confusing sometimes. Personally, I enjoyed The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns more than And the Mountains Echoed. The novel starts with a fast pace but after 175 pages or so loses the momentum until finally picks up in the last chapter. Also there is no clear note or the “Ahh” moment at the end – the story kind of drifts and finally ends with no compelling message. Overall, its an average book compared to the first two novels by the author. The author has tried to include all the family relationships including brother-sister (Abdullah-Pari Sr.), mother-daughter (Nila- Pari Sr.), brother-brother (Timur-Idris), friends (Thalia-Markus) and daughter-father (Pari Jr. –Abdullah) with moderate success. I enjoyed the previous novels with the story revolving around two brothers in The Kite Runner and two women a generation apart in the A Thousand Splendid Suns. Overall not a bad read, but certainly does not match the level of earlier novels. 

Favorite quotes: 

…there was comfort to be found in the permanence of mathematical truths, in the lack of arbitrariness and the absence of ambiguity.

…an avalanche buries you and you’re lying there underneath all that snow, you can’t tell which way is up or down. You want to dig yourself out but pick the wrong way, and you dig yourself to your own demise…

"… 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.”

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

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