Khaled Hosseini’s third novel is an exquisitely rendered study of familial bonds. Opening with the fierce sibling loyalty between Abdullah and his sister, Pari, which acts as the linchpin for a plethora of narratives, And the Mountains Echoed moves deftly between generations and countries. Initially the book feels fragmented, especially for readers used to Hosseini’s earlier work, but navigating the events and personalities is a rewarding task: from the Kabul of Abdullah’s childhood in 1952 to his adult life in California, by way of the lives of relatives and strangers, the novel is a dizzying array of voices and places that allows the reader to luxuriate in Hosseini’s rich, textured language.
Hosseini is a masterful storyteller, but at times there is a sense of being too obviously manipulated. Abdullah’s stepmother is haunted by the memory of a horrific accident for which she is partly responsible in a narrative twist that verges on soap opera; and Markos, a doctor working in Afghanistan,