Sunday, February 16, 2014

And the Mountains Echoed

by Khaled Hosseini
Jan 6-Feb 16, 2014

Well, that took me an inordinately long time to read. I'm not really sure what the holdup was, but I'm eager to start a new book. Hosseini really is a gifted author, but I had a hard time gaining any momentum with this, his third novel. For more than three quarters of the book, I just felt as though the story was still building up to something greater. I'm really glad I hung on to the end though, because it proved well worth it. The story eventually came together, expanding with every page, and was quite satisfying.

Mountains begins in a fictional village in Afghanistan in the 1950s and spans about six decades and travels to Paris, Greece and San Francisco; through several different voices, but each one is intertwined in way or another. Saboor must sell his only daughter in order to survive and adequately care for the rest of his family. Though a stoic man, he never gets over his decision and what unfolds is a sweeping narrative of how many generations are effected by this action.

In the beginning, it was a bit frustrating to jump between decades and voices with each chapter. It took me a while to figure out what was unfolding before me. Once I caught on, I began to like the structure. Of his three novels, this one probably ranks third for me, but that shouldn't diminish its appeal to anyone.

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