I never read Khaled Hosseini before. No one suggested either! Then why did I pick ‘And The Mountains Echoed’?
Well, it’s a paragraph on the back cover of the novel which prompted me to buy it.
Basically, it was my desperation to know what happens afterwards; to what extent the brother would go for his little sister?
Indubitably, the opening story builds up ample interest; you find yourself yearn for more. Later you realize that it, in a nutshell also foretells the fate of the precious and tender brother-sister bond. As you further turn pages, you understand that this book don’t just revolve around Abdullah and Pari, but showcases myriad hues of human relationships.
Whether, it’s Parwana-Masooma’s unfortunate sisterhood which forces Masooma to choose death over miserable life, or
the cold alliance of wealthy Mr Wahdati with Nila which kind of lead to separation of a brother from his dearest sister, or
Nabi’s fantasy love longing for Nila because he thinks she considers him her resort, or
Nila’s stoic behaviour towards Mr Wahdati whom she leaves when he needed her most, or
Nabi’s platonic love for Mr Wahdati which in the absence of Nila compels him to stay put and even look after him till he breaths his last, Or
Nila’s affectionless yet obligatory relation with Pari whom she considers less of a daughter and more of a Punishment, or
Pari’s guilt ridden affair with Nila’s boyfriend which further worsens the already strained mother-daughter relation, or
Sympathetic inclination of Idris for Roshi which pulls him near her and even makes him to promise arrangements for her expensive surgery, or
His superficial bond with brother Timur who believed in overly display of power but ends up doing miracle for Roshi, or
Adel’s outlandish pull towards poor Gholam who always talks rubbish about his father, or
His plain adoration for his father on witnessing one public interaction, or
Marco’s unusual friendship with Thalia whom he considered ugly and dejected, or
Odd amity of Odie and Madaline where later always looked former for rescue, or
The poignant sacrificing tale of a daughter whose father is suffering from Alzheimer, who on one hand is afraid of losing people and on the other, has his spit and vinegar days often, or
Last not but least, the relation of two doppelgangers, one of whom always lived with other since her childhood whereas, the other lived as if some part in her is missing for almost all her life.
Actually every character in this book is very unique and strong in itself. All are struggling with double sides of their being. They have one thing in their minds, and always end up doing something else.
There are stories within one big story. Each being complete in itself, still the author has intertwined all, somehow. For a reader, lot of brain exercise is there. It’s like you sleep in one place and wake up in another unfamiliar one, probably, trans-located in sleep. You search around, perplexed, for some hint. Not finding one, you start living in the moment; meaning, you get yourself involved in the new story. Once into it, you are totally clenched.
“A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.”
Hossieni weaved the story at different locations. It opens at an imaginary village Shadbagh in Afghanistan, and closes in Paris, also orbiting Kabul, USA, Greek island of Tinos, and touching India as well, slightly. Without any doubt, there is too much happening. Author has given great details. He played the emotional card well as I found my eyes moistened at places.
Abdullah as a bother disappointed me but as a father he scores well. One of the cutest thing he used to do is…empty his daughter’s mind of nightmares and fill it with pleasant dreams every night, a fresh one, and she in turn always wished him one, the same dream, the one he always longed for, the one so dear to his heart.
And to the pleasure of heart, in the end, she does fulfil his dream.
What is this dream? How Abdullah reacts when he sees it in real after a wait of lifetime? Does he even react? Or was it too late for any reaction?
Read on to get your answers. The tale of mix of no love, conditional love, unconditional love, friendship, anger, discontent, sacrifice, betrayal, search, and fate.
“And The Mountains Echoed.’
“It’s a half bridge, really, as only four of its original arches remain. It ends midway across the river. Like it reached, tried to reunite with, the other side and fell short.
What I Missed
More Some efforts on Abdullah’s part to find Pari; To my surprise he left Shadbagh for USA but could not manage to go to Kabul once. He could have easily found Nabi, who never left Wahdati’s house. At least, he would have got some idea of Pari’s whereabouts, but, Alas! he never tried. How come?
I was hoping to see more of Abdullah and Pari in the book.