And The Mountains Echoed is set in Afghanistan, in 1952, where Abdullah and his sister reside with their father and foster mother. They seem to have a raw deal in terms of finances, as their father is constantly on a job hunt to make ends meet. One day, their father decided to shift from the small village where they were staying, to Kabul. Abdullah s father tries to prevent Abdullah from coming along, but is unable to do so, due to his son s persistent temperament. Abdullah is extremely fond of his sister, and would do anything to keep her happy. The two siblings are inseparable, and sleep together on their cot with their heads touching. However, the two don t seem to have a clue about the events that are about to take place when they journey from Kabul to other cities and continents. This insignificant journey made by the family dares to alter the course of their lives and those of hundreds of others, through the next 60 years. And The Mountains Echoed revolves around the relationships among family members, which are accompanied with honor and sacrifice for one another. This book also delves into the fact that people are often left dumbstruck by the actions of those who matter the most to them. It is explained to the readers that the decisions made by them can resonate through several generations.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2013: Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed begins simply enough, with a father recounting a folktale to his two young children. The tale is about a young boy who is taken by a div (a sort of ogre), and how that fate might not be as terrible as it first seems—a brilliant device that firmly sets the tone for the rest of this sweeping, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting novel. A day after he tells the tale of the div, the father gives away his own daughter to a wealthy man in Kabul. What follows is a series of stories within the story, told through multiple viewpoints, spanning more than half a century, and shifting across continents. The novel moves through war, separation, birth, death, deceit, and love, illustrating again and again how people’s actions, even the seemingly selfless ones, are shrouded in ambiguity. This is a masterwork by a master storyteller. —Chris Schluep