Thursday, 23 March 2017

And The Mountains Echoed

When asked for book recommendations, I find me asking myself “What books have I read recently that made me really think?” and I came up with one by Khaled Hosseini that I got for Christmas back in 2013. It’s called And The Mountains Echoed (ISBN 978-1-4088-4243-0) and it starts in a way that I can’t quite explain. However, it drew me in in a way that I didn’t expect it to. 

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live in the small village of Shadbagh. To Abdulla, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled.
One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.
Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, and how the choices we make resonate through history.

The blurb above, just in case any of you are interested in reading a bit about it, had me intrigued. When I got this book, I read it in a week, and even now I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It’s been years since I found a book that could interest me more than my night time texting sessions with my best friends, however Hosseini has this style of writing that makes you forget your surroundings and indulges your imagination. Starting with the tale of Abdullah and Pari, the story shows how our actions can affect the lives of those we never expected them to. One thing said or done can change what happens to the people we love and care about. Without giving it away, Hosseini chooses a character from the first chapter to follow in the second, then one from the second to carry on into the third. While the connection may not be clear at first, it soon is obvious who he has picked.

Put in pic of book here

Now I can understand to a lot of people this is not a book that immediately catches your eye. To be honest I wouldn’t have picked it if I hadn’t been bought it, however, while reading it, I was making some decisions myself. I’d recently received an offer from the University of Edinburgh to study Astrophysics. While I always knew I would prefer Glasgow and doubted whether Edinburgh would even consider giving me an offer, I was left unsure as to where to choose. As I began to consider my options, this book helped me realise that without my friends and family I would never have got this far and by choosing to move away for uni I would be cutting ties with a lot of them. I know that’s sort of the idea, you get to start being more independent and make something of yourself. But all my friends were staying in Northern Ireland, and most of them were doing the same course. That was when the real doubt started. However, I went with my gut instinct and chose University of Glasgow. Hopefully that was the right decision, I'm still not 100% sure and here we are three years later! Life decisions can be difficult. You don’t know what will happen or who you’ll affect, but don't ever let it stop you from following your dreams and achieving the best you can.

But yeah, try the book, even if only to leave a comment about how wrong I am about it!

**This has been an edited repost from **


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