I’m not gonna lie. I pre-ordered Khaled Hosseini’s latest book and then chose not to read it for several months. His first novel, The Kite Runner, is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve probably read it eight times (I used to teach high school English), and every time I loved it more. His second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is also well-written, but its description of the abusive treatment of women is painful to absorb. So when this third novel appeared, I admit: I was ambivalent. I wanted to read it because I love Hosseini’s writing. But I also didn’t want him to break my heart again.
While And the Mountains Echoed covers some of the same ground as the previous two books (i.e., the problems in Afghanistan), it is much more expansive—geographically and demographically. Hosseini examines sibling relationships with what Hollywood would call “an ensemble cast” and an array of mirroring situations that compel us to reflect on how they all connect.
I don’t want to give too much away. What I love about this book is how Hosseini uses various points of view to widen our perspective. He is a phenomenal storyteller, and it is easy to forget to cook dinner.
Also—another sign of a good book—after you’ve finished it, it is hard to stop thinking about the characters. Hosseini doesn’t tie everything up neatly. This book, in that sense, is more like real life.