And the Mountains Echoed
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The beautiful writing, full of universal truths of loss and identity, makes each section a jewel . . . Hosseini’s eye for detail and emotional geography makes this a haunting read.”— Publishers Weekly A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.’
Saboor, an impoverished farmer from the fictional village of Shadbagh, decides to sell his three-year-old daughter Pari to a wealthy, childless couple in Kabul. Abdullah adores Pari, and helps collect various feathers for her which she loves. The Kite Runner author’s latest is a moving saga about sacrifice, betrayal, and the power of family. . . . More expansive than The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, the novel spans three generations and includes overlapping tales of expatriates and aid workers, parents and children, doctors and drug lords. Hosseini shows how easy it is for people to brutalize or abandon those they should protect. But his ultimate achievement is demonstrating the power and persistence of family.”— People (4 stars) Chapter Six concerns Pari’s relationship with Nila Wahdati, the woman she’s come to think of as her mother. At the chapter begins, Nila—now a middle-aged woman—has a poor relationship with her adopted daughter. She’s been a neglectful parent, despite building up a successful career as a poet. When Pari was a young teenager, Nila began seeing a man named Julien, for whom Pari had feelings, too. Julien and Nila’s relationship lasted only a few months. Several years later, while Pari was studying mathematics at the Sorbonne, she encountered Julien once again, and they began an affair of their own. When Pari worked up the courage to tell Nila about the affair, Nila laughed and told Pari that they were no longer mother and daughter.
I don't experience this problem with this book. The writing is so rich that I felt like I was there. My emotions reflected the emotions of the characters. I was invested. And the Mountains Echoed is the third novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2013 by Riverhead Books, it deviates from Hosseini's style in his first two works through his choice to avoid focusing on any one character. Rather, the book is written similarly to a collection of short stories, with each of the nine chapters being told from the perspective of a different character. The book's foundation is built on the relationship between ten-year-old Abdullah and his three-year-old sister Pari and their father's decision to sell her to a childless couple in Kabul, an event that ties the various narratives together.
In one story line we learn that Parwana's brother Nabi, chauffeur and houseman to the Wahdatis, brokered the sale of Pari, a deed that haunts him for the rest of his life. Compulsively readable, in large part because [Hosseini] probes his characters' psyches in a nuanced and poetic manner . . . And the Mountains Echoed attains a greater level of complexity than its two predecessors . . . and signals the ongoing maturation of a gifted storyteller.
Abdullah and his sister Pari go to sleep listening to this story and knowing that the next day they will have to say goodbye as well. Their father found a job in Kabul and decided to take the girl with him while leaving his son to take care of Parwana, their step mother, and Iqbal, their half-brother. However, so was the bond between the two siblings that Abdullah insisted on tagging along on the journey through the desert, towards the capital city. Once they arrived in Kabul, they are introduced to the Wahdati family, the wealthy employers of their step uncle, Nabi. Naila Wahdati takes great interest in them and in the end it is revealed that Pari was to be adopted by her and her husband thus separating her from her brother. Although, I will say that maybe Disney and Hosseini are of one mind. Or at least Sebastian and Hosseini: