Thursday, June 13, 2013

Khaled Hosseini's "And the Mountains Echoed"

In his new novel "And the Mountains Echoed", Khaled Hosseini continues with his skill of telling simple stories of ordinary humans in a heart-touching manner. Rarely comes a book which touches both the heart and the mind of the reader and Hosseini's book does the same.

It is very difficult to summarize the novel because it covers a vast territory with many stories and characters. The separate stories of diverse characters in Afghanistan, France, Greece and the US are beautiful mosaics of a brilliant plot. The story revolves around separated siblings and the whole life journey that they traverse in Afghanistan and beyond. Saboor is a man gifted with the power of story-telling. His two children Abdullah and Pari listen to his stories before retiring to the bed every night. These two siblings are strongly attached to each other but fate ordains them to be separated only to meet after a long long time. There are many other stories of other characters interconnected with one another. Nabi, Parwana, Nila Wahdati, Markos, Thalia, Timur, Idris, and others have their own stories and Hosseini warmly tells all their tales. Each character is clearly defined.

The love for Hosseini's birth nation, Afghanistan, comes across wonderfully in the narrative. He is traumatized by the pillage perpetrated by petty politicians on his beloved country.  

The relation between parents and children, the status of immigrants, the plight of females in patriarchal societies and many other issues have been dealt with in the course of the narrative with commendable dexterity.

However, I felt that some parts could have been shortened in the novel, especially the story of Markos and Thalia. At times the novel becomes too saccharine. But apart from these minor pitfalls, this is a must read novel. Recommended!   

1 comment:

Bindesh Dahal said...

I must add that the non-linear/disjointed narrative might get confusing at times.