Wednesday, June 28, 2017

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini was published in 2013. This is an epic tale told in 421 pages, which is short for an epic. Hosseini does not waste words.

In the author's note, he says the title of the book was inspired by William Blake's poem "Nurse's Song.

357. Nurse’s Song
William Blake (1757–1827)
WHEN the voices of children are heard on the green,
  And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
  And everything else is still.
‘Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,        5
  And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away
  Till the morning appears in the skies.’
‘No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
  And we cannot go to sleep;        10
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
  And the hills are all cover’d with sheep.’
‘Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
  And then go home to bed.’
The little ones leapèd and shoutèd and laugh’d        15
  And all the hills echoèd.

This poem really fits this story, and Hosseini has a poetic way of writing. He makes the characters and scenes come alive. This novel begins from Abdullah's point of view as he and his little sister travel to Kabul with their father. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but things don't go the way Abdullah thought they would. The story follows their lives into their old age, and it brings in many people whose lives intersect with theirs. I loved the parts about the feathers.

Each chapter begins with the year, but I wish the name of the character whose point of view the story was being told from was also listed. I always had a page or so of wondering who I was reading. I think having the name up front would have helped me immensely.

When I think of Hosseini's books, I can visualize what I've read much like watching a movie. If you liked A Thousand Splendid Suns, you will like this book.

Michelle and her cute little grandson brought me three new books today for the NICU. Thank you, Michelle. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit.

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