As with his other books, And the Mountains Echoed, written by Khaled Hosseini is a touching story. It talks of family and love and sacrifice and most importantly, the consequences choices can have on us all.
The book begins with a fable told by a father to his two young children and this sets the mood for the rest of the tale. Almost at once, you know what to expect – that the central characters, Abdullah and his sister Pari, will be separated. What you don’t know is that you will find it next to impossible to put the book down unless you have been forced to. Waiting in anxious anticipation, hoping that in the pages that follow, the siblings, who were once inseparable and who share such a strong bond, will be reunited again. This is the power that Hosseini magically wields over his readers. And, although The Kite Runner remains my favourite Hosseini, there were several pages in this novel too where my eyes filled as through his masterful weaving of words I felt the pain of the characters.
That being said, I also have to say that I was slightly disappointed with how the book developed. It spans several decades and is set across so many countries that it results in too many smaller sub-stories that draw away from the main theme. Although I have said earlier that Abdullah and Pari are the central characters, it sometimes feels as though almost every chapter in his book is a short story on it’s own…a little disconnected from the original story and what starts as a clear tale of sibling love twists and turns along the way until the pain I initially felt for the brother and sister diffused into various emotions felt for minor characters.
It is quite sad that the book starts with so much potential as a heartbreaking story of siblings and then unfortunately, somewhere along the way, stops growing into the same.