“And The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book with more…humanity.

The first 150 pages ripped my heart out. Slowly the next 250 tried to stitch it back together.

This book conveys more deeply the effects that we, as people, have on each other, than any fiction book I have ever encountered before. Parent, sibling, uncle, stranger, lover, friend, enemy. How we care for one another, how we love and how we hurt each other, how the decisions we make play out in the lives of people we are connected to, how truly flawed we are, and how much we can do to ease another’s pain.

Maybe this book struck me more because I’ve been in the midst of a lot of relational changes over the last year.  Because I’ve been hurt, and know that I hurt others. Because I’ve both feared the start of distance and wanted it. Because I’ve stepped back and then stepped forward again, making some relationships feel a bit like a dance, in which no one knows who is leading. Because one relationship or another is always on my mind. And Hosseini writes more about people, about relationships, than anything else. He understands the complexity of being alive and he expresses every imaginable emotion in characters you love and loathe, those you relate to and those you hope to never become.

Yesterday in the park a man walked by talking about the book, saying he didn’t like it because it seemed like the author had a lot of short stories put together into one novel. I disagreed and was annoyed at the time. But I was thinking about his comments later as I as reading the last 30 pages, and I think that, in one way, he may have been right. It is told in stories about many different people. But where he was wrong is that they are all connected into one overarching story, which was impossible to forget throughout the book. And I loved it, because it felt real to me. That’s what life is; It’s your story, and mine, and 7 billion others, all intertwined into one much larger narrative.
 
(If you don’t recognize the name of the author, he also wrote “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” both of which I also highly recommend. This review first appeared on my previous blog. I am slowly moving some of those posts to this new blog home.)
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One comment on ““And The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini

  1. […] the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I’ve already reviewed this book here. I hope Hosseini keeps […]

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