Tag Archives: Khaled Hosseini

And The Mountains Echoed –

And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini

I have read A Thousand Splendid Suns (too confronting) and The Kite Runner (loved it), so when someone offered to pass this one onto me I thought why not?

The blurb …

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. 

Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

This had all of the lovely things about Hosseini’s writing – the feeling that it could be a spoken story and stories of Afghanistan before all of the wars. I am not sure that I can succinctly say what this novel is about – families, what people will do for their families, how easy it can be to abandon family, but also how we make new families.

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The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseni

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

A few years ago I read A Thousand Splendid Sunswhich I found quite confronting and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read this one, but I was having coffee with a friend when her copy was returned, so I thought it was time to give it a go.

Here is the blurb …

The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini’s deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land. Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir’s closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with “a face like a Chinese doll” was the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of Afghanistan’s despised Hazara minority. But in 1975, on the day of Kabul’s annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.

I found it compelling – there was always a feeling of ‘and then what happened?’. I enjoyed the stories of an Afghanistan before all of the conflict, escaping over the border and eventually to the US, their new life in the US and then finally returning to Afghanistan searching for redemption. This novel provides insight into another time and place and (maybe) helps us understand Afghanistan today.

This story felt like an oral tale – someone telling their story in bits and pieces. Terrible things do happen, so it is not for the faint-hearted.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

I wouldn’t have chosen to read this book. My mother left it behind and I thought I would give it a go. I think I was put off by all of the hype surrounding The Kite Runner (I tend to be disappointed when something is universally acclaimed).

For me this book is all about the story – I thought the writing was a bit ordinary – but the story is compelling. I know very little about Afghanistan and had no idea that the war(s) had been going on for so long. And although, I knew women were treated badly, a first hand account (albeit fictional) carries much more impact.

This is a sad tale – probably not for the faint hearted – but it’s worth reading for the insight into the lives of Afghan women.


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