Fiction (Released May, 2013)
Bottom Line: Skip it.
Link to this book on Amazon
In 1950’s Afghanistan, Saboor, a poor villager, sells his daughter, Pari, to a wealthy family in Kabul, which causes ripple effects for generations.
And the Mountains Echoed was one of those books that many critics say is “beautiful”, but is actually a bit boring and hard to follow (I come across so many of these, that I think I’m going to start calling them the “beautiful borings”!).
Hosseini tells a few interlinking stories that span generations and continents (the Middle East, the U.S., and Europe). Unfortunately, his structure is incredibly disjointed and the scene often jumps to something entirely unrelated without any warning or transition. I found myself having to go back a few pages to figure out how we so abruptly got from one place to another.
I enjoyed the writing itself and even the central story of Pari and her new mother, Nila. I just wish Hosseini had a tighter focus and avoided including story lines that were only tenuously connected to this central one. For example, the story of Markos, the subsequent owner of Nila and Pari’s Kabul house, takes up an entire third of the book even though he was only a minor character in Pari and Nila’s story.
If Hosseini and his editors had structured the story better and pared down the content, And the Mountains Echoed could have been a truly beautiful book!