Friday, 13 September 2013

And the Mountains Echoed

“So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one, Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything.

More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.”

Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan born American, writer and physician. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965. As the son of a diplomat, Hosseini’s family relocated to Paris in 1976 and later sought political asylum in the U.S, due to the political turmoil in Afghanistan during the 1980s. He completed his education in the US and later graduated from San Diego Medical School and practiced medicine until 2004.

And the Mountain Echoed is a book with several characters. And the beauty is each of them stays in our heart. They throw the harsh truth on our face – Every heart carries secrets! People are not what we see; what we see is what people allow us to see. Nothing less; nothing more!

Saboor, Parwana, Nabi, Abdulla, Pari, Nila, Suleiman, Markos, Thalia, Odelia...
The list just goes on with Timur, Idris, Rosh, Amra, Gholam, Adel, even Appollo!

The beauty lies in the fact that the author has taken due care in drawing each character from the scratch. He outlines about them and ah! We connect to them. We live with them as if we know them... As if we have seen them and that they are a part of our life!

As a result even a Zadia stays in our heart!

What I think
The book starts a soothing bedtime story and then it evolves as a heart crunching tale filled with characters and events that will linger in our thoughts for a long time.

The book oozes with brilliance. It elaborately sketches the life of characters from their childhood to present. That leads to a strange connection. It shuttles between times back and forth while narrating each of the character in detail. The narrative is so elaborate that it has a movie kind of effect.

And I am awed!

The story talks about love... the pain of separation... the happiness of reunion... meaning of loyalty... redefines relationships...

The author indeed put forth several bold incidents... The relationship between Nabi and Suleiman... Through Nila... Through the pain of Thalia... And the words of young Pari’s and Markos’s mother!

Further, the words that the author has used to convey the thoughts and feelings of the characters touch our heart straight away.

Some of my favorite lines are given below – A kind of this master story-teller:

·        “All good things in life are fragile and easily lost”
·         “A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.” 
·         “The finger cut, to save the hand.” 
·         "I've read that if an avalanche buries you and you're lying there underneath all that snow, you can't tell which way is up or down. You want to dig yourself out but pick the wrong way, and you dig yourself to your own demise.” 
·       “Nothing good came free. Even love. You paid for all things. And if you were poor, suffering was your currency.” 
·         "People learned to live with the most unimaginable things.” 
·    "If culture was a house, then language was the key to the front door, [and] to all rooms inside.” 
·   “I now know that some people feel unhappiness the way others love: privately, intensely, and without recourse.”
·     “It was the kind of love that, sooner or later, cornered you into a choice: either you tore free or you stayed and withstood its rigor even as it squeezed you into something smaller than yourself.” 

The problem is that I see no flaws in this masterpiece... It is a perfect art...
The book is so intricately woven that even 401 pages seems so less!

Should you read it?
Grab your copy and enjoy the read.


Thank you
I heartily thank SHOPPING WISH for giving away this wonderful book for review.

PS: Voila! This is my 700th post. I am smiling. Feeling awesome!!!

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