I don't 'review' books, i just express what i thought of them by saying: It was nice. Good story. Etc etc. But something about Khaled Hosseini's books makes me want to write down all my thoughts and emotions after reading his books.
I have been a Khaled Hosseini fan since the day i read The Kite Runner a few years back. And i was absolutely hooked. And after that came the beautifully narrated and sculpted: A Thousand Splendid Suns. These books made me cry, laugh and feel everything the character was feeling. And The Mountains Echoed was not an exception, it fulfilled it's purpose of making one fall in love and experiencing Afghanistan like one only can through a Khaled Hosseini novel.
The book starts with a small verse from Rumi a renowned Persian poet.
Out beyond ideas
Of wrongdoing and rightdoing
There is a field.
I will meet you there.
When one reads this verse it automatically sets the mood one needs to read this book. Beautifully written, heart wrenching, journeying through Afghanistan, USA, Greek islands of Tinos and Paris comes this lovestory of Pari and Abdullah. Mind you by lovestory i do not mean a romance between those two but a story about love. And a lovestory can be about any two people, mother and daughter, sisters, two friends, brother and sister, father and son. And this book revolves around the lovestory of a brother and sister. The book starts with their father telling the siblings about a div who takes away the most beloved child of a poor family and the father going all the way to the div's house on the mountains to get his son back only to find that his son is happy and living a happy life, a life that poor farmer couldn't provide. Thus the farmer leaves the div's palace with a potion he got as a present for passing the div's test. On drinking that potions the farmer forgets his son and all his grieve. Later as the story developes we learn that the father is taking Pari to Kabul and Abdullah insists on going with them following them until his father finally allows him to come with them. During their journey we learn about Pari and Abdullah's relation, their love for each other, how Abdullah can do anything for his sister and how much he adores her gap toothed smile and way that little girl calls him abollah. But alas tradgedy strikes as it always does the two siblings are torn apart from each other because of a deal their step uncle makes with the family who he works for. The adoptive mother takes Pari away to Paris after a few years while Abdullah grieves the lose of his beloved sister, years later through the narrating of their step uncle and his friend Mr Markos we learn the reasons behind the separation of Pari and Abdullah. Where they ended up, how their lives turned out. And eventually we even learn about Pari's live in France, how her 'mother' turned her into a French woman, never told her about her true identity and how she forgets there was an Abdullah in her life. And yet feels like there is something missing from her life all these years never knowing what to be exact. After 58 years the uncle who separated them in a way bring them back to each other, but fate has something else in store for those two, Abdullah has lost his memory to old age he doesn't remember anything. His daughter Pari brings his sister Pari to him just like she had hoped one day she would. She shows Pari all the things he kept safe of hers the old box with an Indian man wearing a red tunic full of colourful feathers to a few letters in Farsi. I won't spoil the entire book for everyone. Read it, totally worth one's time and money.
I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. Good book, but didn't meet the standards A thousand splendid suns has set.