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.