"While we are reading, we are all Don Quixote." ~ Mason Cooley

Friday, March 7, 2014

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

It's been some time since I've posted, not because I haven't been reading - I have. Mysteries and e-books about minimalism and habit formation.  And I've started a couple that I haven't finished.  (One of the resolutions I made a few years ago was to abandon any book that didn't engage me within 50 pages, no matter how great the critical reviews.)  In short, haven't posted because I haven't had much to say.

Then, I read our book club's February selection, And the Mountains Echoed, the third novel by Khaled Hosseini,  author of  The Kite Runner.  Not having read that, and truthfully, not inspired to, I only read this selection out of commitment to the book club and my past experiences of pleasant surprise when I did.  Once again, I've been thankful that I followed through.

And the Mountains Echoed is a treasure, a complex and compassionate story woven by a master storyteller, one of my favorite pieces of fiction from the past few years.  It has a tapestry of themes - loyalty, family, filial love, survival, interconnection, acceptance...woven through the lives of a series of fully fleshed individuals across continents and generations.  (Reminded me a bit of a classic Russian novel where it helped to keep an accounting of the various characters and how they relate to one another, or as I did when a student, to give them nicknames.)

I recommend you check out a variety of reviews of this book.  You will see a wide divergence of opinions and several synopsis of the story line.  For my part, this is what I most enjoyed -

  • the lyrical beauty of Hosseini's writing
  • the humanity of his characters
  • and the intricate relationships between them,
  • his sensitive rendering of cultural differences
  • his ability to deliver historical, cultural information without preachi
  • the intricate, multi-leveled story
And - I'm starting The Kite Runner tonight.

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