And The Mountains Echoed By Khalid Hosseini | Hamro Patro

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Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini

   Safal Gautam - Aug 16 2022

And the Mountains Echoed is a historical fiction and drama written by one of the famous diasporic writers Khaled Hosseini. This book disseminates the relation between two sibling brothers and sisters. This novel is divided into 9 different chapters and is told by different characters. It was published in 2013 by a publication called ‘Riverhead Books’. This is the third novel by Hosseini. All the characters have their own way of telling the stories, as the plotline is set in Afghanistan it revolves around the war and the political scenario along with the hardships of Afghani people throughout.

‘Epic’, “Magnificent’, such simple words spoken by huge enterprises around the world, tells us the essence of how, ‘Hosseini’s most assured and emotionally gripping story yet….’ as stated by New York Times tells ‘a testament to his intimate knowledge of their inner lives and to his power as an old fashioned storyteller’. “And The Mountains Echoed”, a novel filled with short stories, life morals and records of what the best-selling author of ‘The Kite runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ had to offer us a deeply moving epic of heartache, hope and, above all, the unbreakable bonds of love. As exaggerating as it may sound, the reviews and comments by Daily Telegraph, Pioneer, Asian Age, Mail on Sunday and many other institutions, factions or renowned individuals show how much of an impact this story has created.

Abdul, Saboor, Nabi, Pari and many other characters show us about family relationships, morals, grieves, love as the whole story revolves around them starting from a beautiful yet devastating fable at the beginning of the story by Saboor, the Father of Abdul and Pari. The story tells about a hardworking farmer who was given an order by a Div to give him one of his children or else the Div shall eat all of his children. This further shows us about how the guilt and sadness by the farmer's decision of giving away his favorite child caused half of his life to be in pain. Yet again given a chance to either take away or let his son stay with the Div after a second encounter with the Div, the farmer decides to let his son stay there as that is the place where his son
will earn true happiness.

This short but meaningful fable paves the road and presents the framework to how the next whole story will be as the essence of the later stories are, not all, but derived from the simple fable at the beginning. We get to see stories concerning and revolving around family relations, friendship, siblings, strangers and even people who are close to each other even though they are not blood related but tied by marriage. The most important and essential part of the story may be the ties and bonds between Abdul and Pari. This doesn't mean that the other ties and bonds they have with other people are not significant but the siblings' relationship portrayed by Hosseini has left a deep and long mark in the essence of the story.

With how the happy family got divided as they aged with no news from Pari, to Abdul aging from a Naive Kid who loved his sister more than anything to the Old Man with dementia at the end of the story who still in fact remembers the part of time in life that he spent with Pari who has very well gone away for the better part of his life. I loved the part where Thalia and Markos become friends when Thalia shows him how to make a camera. The countdown while the picture is being taken, interspersed with future events is so beautiful and even the part when Marko's mother's attitude and action regarding Thalia is shown is amazing.Marko's mother taught Thalia and Markos so much about how to face life in their respective stories which gives us a lesson to learn.

In this book it is shown and illustrated that we human beings mostly have good intentions. But we mostly do not follow through. We soothe ourselves. We convince ourselves. We justify our actions or our lack of actions. We have an out of sight and out of mind way of thinking. It's a human flaw. And sometimes it has consequences that we cannot comprehend. Consequences that we may never realize as it is out of sight.

“Now and then, when she turned to tap ash into a saucer, I stole a quick glance at the red polish, on her toenails, at the gold-tinged sheen of her
shaved calves, the high arch of her foot, and always at her full, perfectly shaped breasts. There were men walking this earth, I marveled, who had touched those breasts and kissed them as they had made love to her. What was left to do in life once you had done that? Where did a man go next once he'd stood at the world's summit?”

Extracted from the 2nd paragraph in page 100 in Chapter 4 of the story, the above paragraph is enough to show how rich of an emotion, beauty and language Hosseini has used in this story as a whole which made me sigh thinking about the vast difference in our language and writing skills. Most of the time, such literature is what I seem to find boring as I am unable to envision the concept and the environment of the book. Even more so to not be able to have deep attachments to the characters. Well this of course excludes Hosseini’s Novels as the previous books were too good of their own accord which is not a bad thing.
Here once again Hosseini has proved that even someone like me who cannot integrate myself to the book cannot help but feel the emotions of the characters in such a way that I feel like I am there with them, experiencing their intertwined stories and tales. The story even portrays the harsh realities that Afghani people are going through.

Reviewed By: Safal Gautam-22016

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