An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.
Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.
In this tale revolving around not just parents and children, but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe - from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos - the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each minute.
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Relationships are key to this novel
Hosseini really illustrated how well he understands the human condition. It was amazing to read the way his characters interact and relate to one another.
That's the thing though - you cannot really have a favourite character because every chapter is from another point of view, so the character you previously detested may actually become quite dear to you.
The two male narrators were not my favourite. Their voice modulation was lacking and they were often too loud and overpowering. I sometimes felt like their narration was detracting from the novel.
Hosseini's other books (A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner) are largely suffering narratives. They are beautiful and sad and nobody can get through them dry-eyed, but they focus very much on the atrocities suffered by Afghans. And The Mountains Echoed does not focus on suffering, despite the fact that many of the characters do suffer. It really tells a tale of many lives beyond the wars. It is a novel about relationships, rather than about events.
It is definitely more difficult to get into this novel, but by the end of it, it has become my favourite of Hosseini's.