This is a monumental novel following the story of a family rising from their beginnings in abject poverty in rural Afghanistan to affluence in California while never forgetting their connections to their home and family in war-torn Afghanistan. It chronicles aching life events such as the selling of a daughter, not more than a toddler, to a wealthy childless couple in Kabul. Increasing prosperity follows to a life in the USA, not neglecting corruption, cruelty and moral breakdown along the way, through to a circular return to their roots.
I find this book manages what I think only the elderly in a small relatively fixed community manage, and that is to follow, remember and bring together the multiplicity of strands in one’s genealogy over a lifetime. Individuals come and go but family stories remain. In this case the storyteller is a master.
To say here comes another Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns) would risk denigrating the excellence of the writing, the ability to engage and draw in the reader and the fine storytelling and yet …
Overall, a very enjoyable read – but don’t forget his other excellent books.
[Reviewed by a library member. We have a copy of And the Mountains Echoed in the library, as well as The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns]