And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

ks1I received this book from Loot for review consideration. 

This review *may* contain some spoilers

And The Mountains Echoed starts off in 1952 with a father, Saboor, telling a fable to his two children, Abdullah and Pari. The story is about a young village boy who was stolen from his family by a giant monster (a div). After years of sorrow, the father bravely seeks out the giant monster to claim back his son, but when he does he finds that his son is happy where he was. What the two kids don’t know is that the story was preparing them for what’s yet to come. Saboor told the story to them on the evening before he and Pari were to leave to the city, Kabul. He was going to deliver his daughter to a rich couple, to whom he sold her too.

Abdullah has always been more of a parent to Pari than a brother. Since her mother passed away during childbirth, he has taken care of her, because his father was working to provide for his family, including his new pregnant wife.  They adored each other and when they were torn from each other’s lives it scarred Abdullah more than it did Pari. She was too young to remember.

The story plays off mostly in Afghanistan, but also in Paris, America and on the Greek island Tinos.  We follow Pari’s story, her life as a child growing up with the Wahdati’s in Kabul and her later life in Paris after she and her adoptive mother, Nila moved there. In the story we learn what happened to both Pari and Abdullah and their children and grandchildren. We are also told the stories of some of the secondary characters, whose stories are all intertwined in some way. One of my favourite storylines were that of Nabi, Pari and Abdullah’s stepuncle. He was by no means a favourite character, but the chapter with his letter to Pari as an adult proved to be my favourite.

“Sometimes you have to cut the finger to save the hand” is the moral of the story that resonates throughout the novel. And The Mountains Echoed is a story of humanity, heartbreak, loss and sacrifice.  The characters are colourful and yet varied.  I have loved Pari as a character and Abdullah as the doting brother who suffered after the loss of his sister over the years. Nila was a provocative and flawed character, who seemed at first to be someone to sympathize with, but just ended up being a selfish person (and mother).  Nubi on the other hand at least tried to make amends for his mistakes.

I’ve heard many good things about Khaled Hosseini, but I had to find out for myself and can confirm that they were all true. Hosseini has the ability to write a story that pulls you in from the first page and makes you feel for the characters, become emotionally attached to them and reminds you that there are good and evil in people.  This novel was a beautiful story that I would definitely recommend and I’m even more convinced now that I need to read The Kite Runner!

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I’m giving away a paperback copy of And the Mountains Echoed.   To win:

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  • Just leave me a comment (and your email address) below and tell me why you want to read this book (other than my recommendation). I’ll pick a winner next Monday, 21st of July 2014.

Disclaimer: The book is sponsored by Loot.co.za. Please check out their website for books at great prices!

Prize are open to SA readers only.

  • And The Mountains Echoed is such a beautiful book – though I found it to be much more meditative than his previous novels, I liked that it was different 🙂 I heartily recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns as your next read by him…. I sobbed like a baby. It brilliant, awful and heart wrenching. By far my favourite so far 🙂

    • Thank you for the recommendation! I plan on reading both of his previous novels 🙂

  • And The Mountains Echoed is such a beautiful book – though I found it to be much more meditative than his previous novels, I liked that it was different 🙂 I heartily recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns as your next read by him…. I sobbed like a baby. It brilliant, awful and heart wrenching. By far my favourite so far 🙂

  • Carlisle

    Very insightful review! Definitely has me intrigued to read it.

  • Sounds like a great book, always looking for new reads and really sound’s like something my mom and i would enjoy, it sounds like its got a bit of everything in what i look for in a book, my email add is stefeg79@gmail.com

  • I’ve read (and liked) two of his books and look forward to reading this (it’s on my shelf). I’m happy you liked it so much!

    • I have his previous two as well, so I’ll definitely read them too!

  • I heard nothing but praise for his books so I definitely need to give him a try. I just have to decide between this or The Kite Runner.

    • I’ll be reading The Kite Runner too, I’ve only heard good things about that one!

  • This was one of my Paperback Picks for July. I’m so glad you loved it and I highly recommend both his other books. He’s so gifted.

    • I will definitely read them! Definitely a gifted author.

  • Be sure to read A Thousand Splendid Suns, too… his books are wonderful!

  • Ooh this book was too beautiful…sad but a touching journey. Although I must admit that A Thousand Splendid Suns was (if I may say so) a better and more gripping read. You simply have to read it when you have the chance! I love khaled hosseini’s writing style… it’s so unique in the manner that it captivates you. You simply have to know what happens.

    • That’s what happened when I read this book – just had to know what happens!

  • I didn’t read through, just the end to see that you liked it. I haven’t read it yet, but own both a signed and unsigned copy! We teach The Kite Runner at my school and the kids really do like it.

  • I have not read anything by him *hangs head in shame*

    • Don’t worry, I’ve done that prior to reading this one 🙂

  • I’ve been meaning to get to this since it came out. I really enjoy his work and I just know I’d love this one. I’m glad you did! You know I already follow you all over the place 😉

  • Loved his other books and this sounds just as good, interesting I have read two books recently which hover around the theme of stolen children, Jennifer Clement’s Prayers for the Stolen with is excellent and Howard Goldenberg’s Carrots and Jaffas, which sounds similar to this premise, the experience the child has actually gives him something he would never otherwise have had, tough to read and imagine when stories evolve like this.

    • Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Megs Hartwig

    I am almost embarrassed to admit I have yet to read Khaled Hosseini’s first acclaimed works, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns so I couldn’t pass up on the chance to read And the Mountains Echoed, the author’s third novel. Still, I am captivated by the powerful prose and the heartfelt emotion infused in this tale. And The Mountains Echoed is an epic tale of heartbreak and hope that exposes humanity at its worst and best….need to read it!

  • Cathy

    loved your review and now I am very intrigued and dying to read this book. I watched the movie The Kite Runner and loved it so much that I went out to get the book to read and was not dissappointed. I am an avid book nerd and love to challenge myself to read at least 6 books from different authors every year. I would be thrilled to get the chance to read “and the mountains echoed”

    liked and following on FB, Blog and Twitter @cathybadcar

  • Isi

    My opinion of The kite runner is the same as yours of this book. At first I was reluctant to reading it because I thought I would be the one who wouldn’t like it but I was wrong.
    I have to read this one too!!

    • I’m excited to read that one, I’ve heard it’s better 🙂

  • I’ve heard SO MUCH about Khaled Hosseini’s books. I want to read all three.

  • momssmallvictories

    I am going to have to try this book out. It sounds great!

    • I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, Tanya

  • I loved the kite runner and have heard great reviews of this book so would definitely love to read it. The story sounds heart wrenching and intriguing.

    • My email addy is angel_sam369(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • rehana seedat

    Rehana Seedat email: dseedat@telkomsa.net When The Kite Runner came out several years ago, I read it immediately and loved it, as did millions of readers across the world. Khalid Hosseini is one such author who touches the depths in you, that you didn’t know existed. He truly does tug at every heart string, and out of the blue you find yourself stunned and amazed cause your reaction and the effect it had on you. He has done it in the past and he does it again with this book. His writing has nuggets you find like a few precious sea shells that you would want to hold on to forever. And The Mountains Echoed,.he just writes so beautifully that..it leaves you totally detached from the outside world just with his story..so provocative storyteller..I adore. But, that’s the beauty of his writing I suppose. You can never be completely done with his books! I Would really love to have my own copy of Mountains Echoed to cherish & read over & over again

    • Your answer, and several others, really make me want to read The Kite Runner sooner rather than later.

  • This one’s on my list. I’ve read his two previous novels aand liked them (The Kite Runner and A 1000 Splendid Suns).

    • Those two are on my list!

  • Melinda, you need to read the Kite Runner, a very profound and powerfully poignant novel. A Thousand Splendid Suns is equally compelling. Hosseini indeed knows how to tap at the soul of humanity. I ordered a copy of And The Mountains Echoed and my sister in the UK had it sent down to me through a friend who was coming down to Ghana. I’m yet to pick it up. 🙂

    Thanks for a wonderful review. 🙂

    • I will have to, Celestine. And I love how you describe it!

  • Thank you for sharing your review with us, you have written it beautifully and captured the essence of what Hosseini’s work is really about by reading your review.

    I believe anyone can read a book but not everyone that reads a book can say they have lived more than one life and for those who say that they have only one life to live, surely must not know how to read a book. That’s how I feel every time I read a book, I feel empowered, I have felt the pain and joy of others, I have travelled many places, and I have been there, every step of the way with each character I have ever had the pleasure to meet…

    Hosseini happens to be one of my favourite authors. He has this beautiful way of grabbing your soul when you open up his novels to start reading. He writes heart-tugging novels offering simple tales of redemption. He has this ability to make my heart ache and my stomach clench and I experience emotions I thought did not exist in me. He tells the saddest of stories in achingly beautiful way through characters one can easily relate to.

    Hosseini only have three novels published, The Kite Runner (2003), A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) (I have read both of these novels) and And The Mountains Echoed (2013), which is his third novel , which I haven’t read yet.

    The Kite Runner is quite intense and has some upsetting content. This novel is a story about humanity, friendship, survival, sin and redemption. There are two main characters that I both loved, Hassan and Amir. Their characters were so real; you forget that you are actually reading a fictional novel. My mind stayed on this novel, weeks after I have read it, funny enough the same thing happened to me with A Thousand Splendid Suns…like the details of the two novels were still haunting me because it felt so real.

    In A Thousand Splendid Suns, he takes Afghanistan’s years of turbulent history of war and its oppression and tells the story on such an profound level through the lives of his characters, which happens to be two women, Mariam and Laila. Mariam was my favourite character; she is the epitome of a strong woman in the adversity of everything that could possibly go wrong with one person. I cried while reading most of the book, to a point where it touch me to the core that I couldn’t breathe properly while reading because I felt Mariam’s sorrow as if I was Mariam.

    I am a huge fan of Hosseini’s work and I love his prose writing style. I would be honoured if I can win your giveaway.

  • I read the Kite Runner a while ago and loved it and have seen only good reviews of And the Mountains Echoed. It’s definitely on my reading list, especially after seeing an interview with Khaled Hosseini recently.

  • I’ve only read part of The Kite Runner, which although was good, the topic and certain events made me uncomfortable so I had to put it down. Despite being disheartened, I’d love to give this book a try instead. I hope you enjoy TKR, and look forward to your views!

    • Oh no! I hope the same won’t happen to me when reading TKR.

  • Maryann

    Hi there. I read A Thousand Splendid Suns which was awesome! I use Loot quite a bit….I did not know they sent out books for review consideration – interesting.

    • Their prices are the best!

  • This book just sounds fantastic! Not only has it won so many awards, has an awesome rating, a great author, but it also takes place in different countries!

    chidoryx AT hotmail DOT com
    Followed all three ways 🙂

    Lu

    • You’re right and I’m definitely excited to read The Kite Runner

  • I have read and re-read both of his first two novels and am obsessed with his writing. Beautiful words that come to life for me, that challenge me, that grow me.

    • I still need to read his first two, and I definitely will

  • Now that you have begun you have to read TKR at some point- even though I imagine your TBR pile is huge- like the rest of us! It’s difficult in parts but all Hosseini’s works are. I still think you will find it touching and beautiful.

    • I most definitely will. Everyone has convinced me.

  • I loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns so would love to read this one. If I win the copy from Loot I will donate it to our school library as our High School students love Hosseini’s writing.

    • I would love to read his previous 2 novels. I’m glad you liked them. Unfortunately the giveaway is closed 🙁

  • thebookhaven.wordpress.com

    I have read The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Both were awesome. Must check out And the Mountains Echoed as well.