- Virginia Johnson
And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini, begins rather simply with a father telling a fairy tale. It’s 1952. Saboor and his two children, sturdy Adbullah and his tiny sister Pari, are walking for days, with only a small wagon and a little food, to the great city of Kabul. Saboor tells them he is looking for work, and they believe him—why should they not? His hands are broken and calloused, his back stooped with constant labor. He is a caring father, and he is a wonderful storyteller. Around the fire that night, they realize that Saboor has never told them this particular story, one full of grief and love—the last story he will ever tell them.
Saboor’s Afghanistan is a mostly poor country. But there are pockets of affluence, and Kabul is a city of possibilities. It is also a place to bury one’s love and pride. And the Mountains Echoed is lyric and deep-hearted, a book spanning several generations. Khaled Hosseini’s work first became popular with The Kite Runner—and justly so. However, while this new book is cut from the same cloth, it seems to have a richer texture. It works in many points of view as well as slices of time which seamlessly harmonize to create a story of stories that will stay with readers for a long, long time.
And the Mountains Echoed is available in print, as an audio CD, as audio to download, as an eBook, and in large print. Highly recommended.