from my bookshelf: and the mountains echoed by khaled hosseini

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and the mountains echoed tracks a family over the course of multiple generations. it is afghan-american author khaled hosseini’s third novel after the kite runner and a thousand splendid suns. the story’s core is the close bond between two siblings, abdullah and pari, who are tragically separated from each other when they are very young. the plot quickly grows many veins, and goes into complex stories of abdullah and pari’s relatives. years pass, the world changes, the family evolves as members die and are born, and the clan continues to grow apart and reconnect. geographically, and the mountains echoed spans vastly, exploring characters in afghanistan, france, greece, and the united states. it speaks to the pain and joy that people experience from family and friendship, and also to growing up: specifically, a person’s struggle between leading his or her own life versus carrying on the traditions of where they came from.

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“All her life, Parwana had made sure to avoid standing in front of a mirror with her sister. It robbed her of hope to see her face beside Masooma’s, to see so plainly what she had been denied. But in public, every stranger’s eye was a mirror. There was no escape.”

“I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.”

“I have lived a long time, Mr. Markos, and one thing I have come to see is that one is well served by a degree of both humility and charity when judging the inner workings of another person’s heart.”

“They say, find a purpose in your life and live it. But sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, a likely one you never had in mind.”

“I know now some people feel unhappiness the way others love. Privately, intensely, and without recourse.”

“For the first time, Adel felt truly aware of the broader movements that had always governed his life. And the wildly conflicting truths that resided within a person. Not just in his father, or his mother, or Kabir. But within himself too.”

“Adel could feel almost feel himself leapfrogging over childhood. Soon, he would land as an adult. And when he did, there would be no going back because adulthood was akin to what his father had once said about being a war hero: once you became one, you died one.”

“But time, it is like charm. You never have as much as you think…”

“I used to picture us as two leaves, blowing miles apart in the wind yet bound by the deep tangled roots of the tree from which we had both fallen.”