Expert Book Reviews presents a comprehensive review, analysis and plot summary of Khaled Hosseini's novel And the Mountains Echoed.
This is an epic tale set in the mold of Doctor Zhivago, in which the lives of the characters are determined, often tragically, by great historical circumstances and events that they are powerless to control. Khaled Hosseini's story tells of a little Afghan girl's unlikely journey with her family.
And the Mountains Echoed is a love story of a different kind. Pari, as she is named, is loved by her older brother beyond words. When she is torn from him and her family at the tender age of three, the stage is set for the suspense that will last as long as the story: will they ever meet again?
No amount of factual history can give as deep and vivid a sense of the reality of Afghanistan in the last seventy years as this story gives. Likewise, no mere reporting or film documentary can give as lucid an account of the cruel decisions forced on people living on the verge of destitution, of the nuances and characteristics of such an ancient, complex and reactionary, but proud country as Afghanistan. It's no wonder that empires, past and present, floundered in their attempts to conquer her.
As it was for Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Afghanistan is just the setting, the background, for a profound exploration of the human soul, its capacity for good and evil, paradoxically often at the same time and by the same person.
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