An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.
Khaled Hosseini, the no.1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns , has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe-from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos-the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.
"[Hosseini's] most assured and emotionally gripping story yet . . . Hosseini's narrative gifts have deepened over the years. . . . [And the Mountains Echoed ] grapples with many of the same themes that crisscross his early novels: the relationship between parents and children, and the ways the past can haunt the present. And it shares a similar penchant for mapping terrain midway between the boldly colored world of fable and the more shadowy, shaded world of realism... [W]e finish this novel with an intimate understanding of who his characters are and how they've defined themselves over the years through the choices they have made between duty and freedom, familial responsibilities and independence, loyalty to home and exile abroad... a deeply affecting choral work... a testament both to his intimate knowledge of their inner lives, and to his power as an old-fashioned storyteller. "-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"The Kite Runner author's latest is a moving saga about sacrifice, betrayal, and the power of family. . . . More expansive than The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns , the novel spans three generations and includes overlapping tales of expatriates and aid workers, parents and children, doctors and drug lords. Hosseini shows how easy it is for people to brutalize or abandon those they should protect. But his ultimate achievement is demonstrating the power and persistence of family."- People (4 stars)
"[Hosseini's] beautifully written, masterfully crafted new book, And the Mountains Echoed , spans nearly 60 years of Afghan history as it investigates the consequences of a desperate act that scars two young lives and resonates through many others. . . . And the Mountains Echoed is painfully sad but also radiant with love: the enduring bond of a brother and sister; the irritable but bedrock connection of cousins; the quiet intimacy of master and servant who become friends; the commitment of a doctor and nurse to war's victims. To underscore love's centrality and contingency, Hosseini closes with an image drawn from a dream: a snapshot of bygone happiness all the more precious in retrospect because we know how fragile it is."- Los Angles Times
" And the Mountains Echo ed opens like a thunderclap. . . . [Hosseini] asks good, hard questions about the limits of love. . . . Love, Hosseini seems to say, is the great leveler, cutting through language, class, and identity. No one in this gripping novel is immune to its impact."- O, the Oprah Magazine
"With his third and most ambitious novel yet, Hosseini makes it clear that he's not ready to rest on his Big Name. . . . While it hits all the Hosseini sweet spots-nostalgia, devastating details, triumph over the odds- And the Mountains Echoed covers more ground, both geographically and emotionally, than his previous works. It's not until Hosseini makes the novel small again, for the poignant conclusion, that you fully appreciate what he's accomplished."- Entertainment Weekly (A)
"I'm not an easy touch when it comes to novels, but Hosseini's new book, And the Mountains Echoed , had tears dropping from my eyes by Page 45. . . . It's hard to do justice to a novel this rich in a short review. There are a dozen things I still want to say - about the rhyming pairs of characters, the echoing situations, the varied takes on honesty, loneliness, beauty and poverty, the transformation of emotions into physical ailments. Instead, I'll just add this: Send Hosseini up the bestseller list again."- Washington Post
"The genius of Khaled Hosseini's novels-including his best-selling The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns , as well as his latest, the masterly And the Mountains Echoed -is that they pull off the neat trick of embodying and transcending the essence of a place. . . . This is an exquisite novel, a must-read for anyone with an interest in what it means to be alive, anywhere and everywhere."- USA Today
"There is an assured, charismatic new maturity to H
One FALL 1952
So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one. But just the one. Don't either of you ask me for more. It's late, and we have a long day of travel ahead of us, Pari, you and I. You will need your sleep tonight. And you too, Abdullah. I am counting on you, boy, while your sister and I are away. So is your mother. Now. One story, then. Listen, both of you, listen well. And don't interrupt.
Once upon a time, in the days when divs and jinns and giants roamed the land, there lived a farmer named Baba Ayub. He lived with his family in a little village by the name of Maidan Sabz. Because he had a large family to feed, Baba Ayub saw his days consumed by hard work. Every day, he labored from dawn to sundown,
plowing his field and turning the soil and tending to his meager pistachio trees. At any given moment you could spot him in his field, bent at the waist, back as curved as the scythe he swung all day. His hands were always callused, and they often bled, and every night sleep stole him away no sooner than his cheek met the pillow.
I will say that, in this regard, he was hardly alone. Life in Maidan Sabz was hard for all its inhabitants. There were other, more fortunate villages to the north, in the valleys, with fruit trees and flowers and pleasant air, and streams that ran with cold, clear water. But Maidan Sabz was a desolate place, and it didn't resemble in the slightest the image that its name, Field of Green, would have you picture. It sat in a flat, dusty plain ringed by a chain of craggy mountains. The wind was hot, and blew dust in the eyes. Finding water was a daily struggle because the village wells, even the deep ones, often ran low. Yes, there was a river, but the villagers had to endure a half-day walk to reach it, and even then its waters fl owed muddy all year round. Now, after ten years of drought, the river too ran shallow. Let's just say that people in Maidan Sabz worked twice as hard to eke out half the living.
Still, Baba Ayub counted himself among the fortunate because he had a family that he cherished above all things. He loved his wife and never raised his voice to her, much less his hand. He valued her counsel and found genuine pleasure in her companionship. As for children, he was blessed with as many as a hand has fingers, three sons and two daughters, each of whom he loved dearly. His daughters were dutiful and kind and of good character and repute. To his sons he had taught already the value of honesty, courage, friendship, and hard work without complaint. They obeyed him, as good sons must, and helped their father with his crops.
Though he loved all of his children, Baba Ayub privately had a unique fondness for one among them, his youngest, Qais, who was three years old. Qais was a little boy with dark blue eyes. He charmed anyone who met him with his devilish laughter. He was also one of those boys so bursting with energy that he drained others of theirs. When he learned to walk, he took such delight in it that he did it all day while he was awake, and then, troublingly, even at night in his sleep. He would sleepwalk out of the family's mud house and wander off into the moonlit darkness. Naturally, his parents worried. What if he fell into a well, or got lost, or, worst of all, was attacked by one of the creatures lurking the plains at night? They took stabs at many remedies, none of which worked. In the end, the solution Baba Ayub found was a simple one, as the best solutions often are: He removed a tiny bell from around the neck of one of his goats and hung it instead around Qais's neck. This way, the bell would wake someone if Qais were to rise in the middle of the night. The sleepwalking stopped after a time, but Qais grew attached to the bell and refused to part with it. And so, even though it didn't serve its original use, the bell remained fastened to the string around the boy's neck. When Baba Ayub came home after a long day's
An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else. Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.