Wednesday, November 20, 2013
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
The opening myth is one that permeates a network of tales, its meaning developing and diversifying across the course of the book. A div, or demon, draws a father into a terrible pact. The father can gift his favorite son a better life by giving the child away, never to see him again. This is what Saboor, the poor Afghan father telling the story, is himself about to do to his three-year-old daughter, Pari, who has an unusually powerful bond to her brother, Abdullah. From the moment the realization dawns that Saboor is going to give Pari to the wife of a wealthy man in Kabul, the ache of separation and longing pervade the story.
Hosseini is a gifted story teller, and while the book winds its way between several inter-related stories, the reader is not impatient for him to tie them all together, which he does at the end in a bittersweet way. There is less violence in this book than in his past two books and more yearning.