As a huge fan of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, I was aware of Hasseini’s 2013 novel, the first he had attempted in six years, And the Mountains Echoed. I read the reviews, put it on my TBR list, and promptly forgot it.
Recently, upon cleaning out my TBR folder, I came across the scrap of paper that reminded me I had never read the book. Because I was going back and forth to the university, I listened to the audio book version. There were 12 discs in all, and I was hooked by the second. The book is narrated by multiple actors, which made it easy listening.
The novel lives up to the album cover which describes it as “emotional,” “unforgettable,” “provocative,” as it explores ” the shape of our lives and what it means to be human.” The multigenerational story begins with two motherless children in an Afghanistan village. Abdullah, who was ten, raises Pari, age three, and what happens to them during their lifetimes “echoes through the lives of so many other people.” Themes that reoccur in each generation are the “moral complexity of life” and the characters’ emotions are explored and revealed in all of their complex depths. The setting takes the reader to Kabul, Paris, and the Greek island of Tinos.
Hosseini, in Mountains, lives up to his reputation of “Born Storyteller.” I highly recommend the audio book of this novel.