And the Mountains Echoed

Penulis (Author) : Khaled Hosseini

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Family

Tarikh Tamat (Date finished) : 29 July 2017

Rating: 3/5

” I found a sad little fairy.

Beneath the shade of a paper tree

I know a sad little fairy

Who was blown away by the wind on night”

Abdullah & Pari

*Spoiler Alert*

The main story is about the life of a brother and sister from Pakistan who got separated in a heartbreaking arrangements. The first chapter is basically the summary of the whole story except it was told in a folklore.

A few philosophical (?) question rose from the main story. You are very poor. You have many kids. But you can’t guarantee to give adequate protection, medical and beverages but you love your kids so much.

Then one day, your daughter is taken forcibly from you and taken somewhere else. You fought and you sought for her and the ‘kidnapper’. You found her. Apparently, the ‘kidnapper’ brought her to a better place. A much much better place where her welfare is guaranteed to be taken care of.

The ‘kidnapper’ gave you two options. To take her back home or to leave her with them. If you left her, all memories will be wiped away, though there are possibility of traces of it will still linger. If you take her back home, you are bringing her back to a life with uncertain welfare.

Of course, I feel there are possible loopholes in the analogy. But, it is interesting nonetheless, especially true in reality to the extremely poverty-stricken families.

Roughly, that’s the main story of this book.

However, I should add that sometimes, the sub-plot in this book are totally unrelated to the main plot.

The storyline, despite on a linear timescale, jumps violently from one character to another that I find it hard sometimes to connect one to another and sometimes does not contribute at all to the main plot. In terms of the continuity between chapters, I feel it’s a bit lacking.

Nevertheless, there are interesting insights and observation from the book.

1) The clash between culture.

The settings span from a traditional village which upholds to custom and religions in Pakistan to Kabul, where religion and culture clashes with ‘modernity’, to Paris and France where one of the siblings are brought to, to USA, where a filler story took place.

Khaled Hosseini managed to highlight and present the differences in the worldview, lifestyle and struggle of the characters coming from different places seamlessly.

2) A rough representation of what happened in reality.

Despite being a fictional book, I believe the different characters and chapters in the book portray the different views and opinions on Pakistan. There are comprised of those who fought proudly during the war period, to the civilians who just want to war to end and don’t to have anything to do with it, and to those who weren’t there but came back after the war to help or salvage what’s left of their old belongings. These are just 3 of the ones in the book.

3) Khaled managed to drive home the emotions and conflicts that plagued the characters and forces the reader to either sympathise or criticise the actions and thoughts of the characters. The conflict and jealousy between twin sisters? Check. The love of a brother to her sister? Check. The economic struggle to sustain life? Check. Tense relationship in the family? Check. The true nature and reality of the status of best friend forever? Check The struggle between justice and evil? Check. A happy ending? Well, check.

4) All in all, despite the critics about the style of storyline, it was still an enjoyable read. Still a book with rollercoaster of emotions, albeit maybe with too much momentum change that needs chaining the track. And this book is special because it’s more than just A book. If you know what I mean. Huhu

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