Khaled Hosseini's gorgeous new novel begins with a father telling his two children a heartbreaking Persian fable: A father must choose one of his five children to give to a malevolent demon or have all five taken from him. With its themes of sacrifice and betrayal, this fable sets the tone for the rest of the narrative.
And The Mountains Echoed
spills over with unforgettable, fully realized characters whose stories are woven together into a tapestry, a stunning portrait of family dynamics. Threads of longing, envy, guilt, and betrayal twist together to form the warp of the tapestry with devotion, loyalty, and innocence forming the weft. These are the things that can cleave a family apart or bind it together. Taking place over a period of sixty-one years (from 1949 to 2010), and spanning many generations, some of the stories not all overlap the...
Beyond the Book
One of the most compelling and tragic characters in And The Mountains Echoed
is a beautiful, intelligent woman named Nila. She's modern and independent, and feels trapped by Afghani society but eventually moves to Paris where she becomes a poet of some renown. This made me curious about other women poets from similar backgrounds, in particular the Persian poet Forough Farrokhzad (pronounced Fur-o Fair-ig-zed) whom Hosseini references in his author's note. Although Farrokhzad was from Iran while the fictional Nila is from Afghanistan, they both come from a time and society where it has long been difficult for women to achieve anything outside of their home without the help and support of male patronage. It is one of the reasons why Farrokhzad's independence was unusual and prized....