Ten years after his first novel and six years after his second, Khaled Hosseini once again crafts a masterpiece which aims to touch the lives and hearts of his readers. In May 2013, And The Mountains Echoed was born. Exactly seven days after I opened the book and started reading the first page, I am ready to share five reasons why you would want to read Khaled Hosseini’s And The Mountains Echoed. Here goes…
1. You enjoyed The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
Confession Time: This is the main reason why I was thrilled to read this novel. It was almost three years ago when I was captivated by the first two novels by Hosseini—The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns—paperback copies that I bought within a few weeks of each other. And at least for me, that’s really something. This author’s stories have the ability to captivate you in a truly unexpected way.
2. You love stories revolving around families and how powerful they can be.
Stories about families have a certain appeal to me. The matter of family is relatable to a lot of readers, certainly. Every family has a its own story and each of these stories has a special magic that lies deep within, and manifests in every member. Sadness, joy, triumph, failures—all of these are encapsulated in every family story, making it among of the most real and the colorful subjects on which a novel can be based.
3. You want to see Afghanistan through the eyes of her sons and daughters.
And The Mountains Echoed paints a picture of Afghanistan in a way that makes the reader appreciate the place, even if they are not a native, or have never visited. Through the story I was able to get a glimpse of both the beautiful and the ugly sides of the country’s culture and history, and found that everything blended perfectly as a backdrop of a very interesting chain of events.
4. You like quotes that are authentic, rather than feel-good or sugar-coated.
When reading a story, a person should, at the very least, be able to glean a quote which will serve to inspire, guide, or help them reflect on their own life and personal set of values and ideals. This is what makes a book worthwhile, even if you aren’t raving about it.
And The Mountains Echoed left me not just one, but several noteworthy lines. Here are some of my favorites:
“There is not accounting for how the mind works.”
“Sorrow ought to be private, not flaunted.”
“The world didn’t see the inside of you, that it didn’t care a whit about the hopes and dreams, and sorrows, that lay masked by skin and bone.”
“Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.”
“Most people have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But what really guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.”
“Time is like a charm. You never have as much as you think.”
5. You believe that happy endings exist.
With all of life’s complexities, struggles, and difficulties—including hurtful people—it is very easy for one to lose hope. But this story suggested to me that by making the right decisions and doing good, every person has a fair chance to have a fulfilling life, and ultimately, the possibility of a happy ending. And The Mountains Echoed, in its own way, attempts to restore one’s faith in this possibility: that no matter how long and hard your journey through life gets, you are bound to get the happiness that you search for, so long as you continue working for it and you never ever give up.