Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner recently released his latest novel, titled And The Mountains Echoed. Unsurprisingly, it has already received endless praise and brilliant reviews. Unlike his other two novels, And The Mountains Echoed is not only set in Afghanistan, but also in Paris, Greece and San Francisco, giving it a more international feel and making it more relatable to its readers. If I could summarize the theme of the novel I’d have to say it’s mainly about how the decisions we make, even the slightest and seemingly insignificant ones, can have tremendous effects on not only the rest of our lives, but the lives of others. Hosseini addresses this issue through exploring other pressing matters, such as poverty, prejudice, loss, sexuality…the list is virtually endless.
Unlike the previously mentioned novels (which I strongly recommend), Hosseini’s newest novel focuses not on one or two select characters, but on several. The novel is quite fast-paced, but Hosseini doesn’t fail to create an almost palpable connection between the reader and each one of his characters. The story begins with Abdullah and Pari, who have a rare and beautiful relationship that is cut short too soon when Pari is sold by their father to a rich family in the city. Which brings us to Nila Wahdati, the woman responsible for the ruin of Abdullah and Pari’s awe-inspiring connection. Nila is a young, beautiful, and deeply disturbed Afghan woman who completely defies conservative Afghan traditions and writes shockingly explicit poetry. Nila and her husband Suleiman are in a mutually unsatisfying marriage and both lead secret lives that are addictive to read about. These characters are only a few that Hosseini includes in a woven tale of lives connected in unimaginably intricate ways.
Hosseini doesn’t provide conventional closure for his readers with the common happy ending; instead he imparts it by resolving each character’s tale in an inevitably realistic manner. You’ll experience the very heartbreak, loss, hatred, anger, guilt and any other heart-wrenching emotion that each character feels, and that every person is bound to encounter in their own lives. This makes it all the more personal and is the reason why I recommend this novel (and the other Hosseini books) to anyone who asks me for a “life-changing” read.