I don’t know how he does it, but Hosseini has done it again; that is, rocked my world with yet another touching, beautifully written novel. Somehow I think he understands what it is to be human a little bit more than the rest of us.Khaled Hosseini is a genius. He has a gift. And if you can’t see that, well then you are dead to me. Actually, no, I forgive you for being ridiculous, because that is what Mr. Hosseini is all about… but know that you are skating on thin ice! He is everything I wish I could be in an author, and everything I know I will never be, because I write about boogers and dates who elbow me in the face during movies about penguins and he writes about things that matter. But I am perfectly fine with not being Hosseini; I’d much rather be the one reading his masterpieces than writing them.
If you liked The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Sons, chances are you’ll like And the Mountains Echoed as well, even though it has a different feel from the other two. For one thing, each chapter in this book is told from a different character’s perspective, and is almost a mini story within the overall novel. The characters each chapter focuses on are all connected somehow though, across the generations and across the globe. Normally, this would make it hard for me to connect really well with any of the characters, but not in this case. The chapters were fairly long so the reader gets a chance to become fully enmeshed in that character’s head before we move on to a different perspective. While it was sometimes confusing to remember how each character was related and how each story fit with all the others, in the end it really didn’t matter. Each one was beautiful in its own right and stood on its own without even needing to be connected to any other chapter.
And full disclosure: each character’s story will deal with tragedy and personal loss to varying degrees. This isn’t light beach reading by any means, it is more like poetry. But it is so worth it, trust me.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.