Monday, 17 June 2013

BOOK REVIEW : And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Husseini is an author who needs no introduction. He is an author who is known all over the world for his impeccable style of writing and unique story writing skills.
The first book of Husseini's which I read was A Thousand Splendid Suns and it would be an understatement to say that I was totally enthralled by it's gripping story and such strong characters. And the moment I finished it I caught hold of The Kite Runner. It goes without saying that it was an awesome read.
Now after a gap of many years Husseini comes with out with another precious gem from his invaluable ability of story telling- "And the Mountains Echoed".
The story is not about the Taliban or the suffering of the Afghans or an individual but it is a story about people, their relationships and the impact of certain decisions on their lives. Instead of one central character, Husseini presents us with some very compelling characters who make you plunge, heart first, in their stories with an effortless magic spell.
The book begins with the early childhood story of Abdullah and his younger sister Pari who are on a long journey from their village Shadbag to Kabul with their father. On the way he tells them a story and what a story it was. I was under the spell of the great magician of words-Husseini in the first chapter itself. From there the story moves ahead with Parvana, Abdullah and Pari's stepmother. It talks about her life in the shadow of a pretty twin sister, Masooma, and  how her simmering hatred for Masooma changes the twins's lives forever. Then the master storyteller takes us into the life of Nabi, Parvana's brother who works in the house of Mrs and Mr Suleiman Wahdati. Nabi plays a pivotal role in separating Abdullah and Pari and in bringing Pari in the lives of the Wahdatis. The story then jumps to Greece into the early life of Dr. Markos, a plastic surgeon living in the present day war-torn Afghanistan. It is through this kind doctor that Pari is traced and how after many decades she unites with her brother Abdullah and his family.
All the stories are very beautifully carved and are intricately linked to each other through invisible but very strong bonds. It is these relationships and the beautifully etched characters who very subtly but surely pull your heartstrings and stay with you long after you finish the book.