Khaled Hosseini is one of my favorite writers and being a loyal reader who had loved his previous books ,I did not hesitate to order his latest book – And The Mountains Echoed. His first book ‘The Kite Runner’ had left me reeling in a myriad of emotions and the latest book was also not a disappointment. The Hosseini style is evident in the writing style and characters. The story begins in a village in Afghanistan and meanders through different cities, the innocence of the former and the boldness of the latter reflected beautifully in the plot and characters. Most of the characters are portrayed in shades of grey –depicting the very selfishness and dilemma that every human carries around.
The book begins with the heartbreaking story of 10 year old Abdullah and three year old Pari, motherless siblings sharing an extra ordinary bond, being torn apart from each other when their father, an unfortunate villager bowing down to the poverty that had stricken Afghan, is forced to sell the latter to a rich childless couple in Kabul. The sister, having the advantage of obliviousness owing to her young age, escapes the terrible emotional hole when the brother is left devastated and suffers lifelong misery.
There are other subplots where sometimes same incidents are depicted from the point of view of different characters and each chapter is a story in itself. The writer weaves the characters in a hidden thread which keeps them intertwined. In each of the characters we can see the goodness of basic human nature, the strong instinct to support fellow beings which somewhere gets buried in the selfishness and is comfortably laid to rest.
The book ends when Pari finds Abdullah after decades and we witness a role reversal there. The journey of Pari from Abdullah to Abdullah is accompanied by history of Afghanistan, stories of rises and decays ,instances of human struggle in the borderline of good and evil , selfish betrayals, potrayal of hopes and emotions beyond comprehension.
I liked the book and think this books deserves to be read. I am sure I will be picking up this book again-several more times .