And the Mountains Echoed
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4.05 / 5

"And the Mountains Echoed" Summary

By Khaled Hosseini

fiction | 404 pages | Published in NaN

So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one...Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, 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, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.


Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

"And the Mountains Echoed" follows the interconnected lives of multiple characters as they navigate love, loss, and the enduring bonds of family.


"And the Mountains Echoed" is a captivating and heart-wrenching novel written by Khaled Hosseini, the acclaimed author of "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns." Set in Afghanistan and spanning several decades, the book weaves a tale of family, sacrifice, and the enduring power of love. With richly drawn characters and a compelling narrative, Hosseini's novel explores the complexities of human relationships and the profound impact of choices made across generations.

Brief Synopsis

The story begins in the small village of Shadbagh, Afghanistan, where a father tells a haunting folktale to his children, Abdullah and Pari. This sets the stage for a series of interconnected stories that unravel the lives of various characters across different times and places. From the desolate Afghan landscape to the bustling streets of Kabul and the affluent neighborhoods of Paris, the novel encompasses a wide array of settings that mirror the characters' diverse experiences.

Plot Overview

The plot revolves around the separation of siblings Abdullah and Pari, whose lives take divergent paths after their father makes a heart-wrenching decision to give Pari up for adoption to a wealthy family in Kabul. This pivotal moment sets off a chain of events that reverberates through the lives of multiple characters, each grappling with their own struggles and desires.

Main Characters

The novel features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own compelling story and role in the narrative. Here are some of the main characters:

AbdullahA devoted and caring older brother who shares a deep bond with his sister, Pari.
PariAbdullah's younger sister, who is separated from him at a young age and grows up in a different family.
NabiThe loyal family servant who becomes intricately involved in the lives of the characters, particularly Abdullah and Pari.
ParwanaAbdullah and Pari's stepmother, who carries her own burdens and secrets.
MarkosA Greek plastic surgeon who forms a connection with one of the characters and grapples with his own past.
Idris and TimurTwo brothers whose lives intersect with the main characters, bringing about unexpected consequences.

Summary of Different Story Points Over Chapters

Chapter 1-3: Shadbagh, Afghanistan

The story begins with a haunting folktale told by Saboor, the father of Abdullah and Pari, as they embark on a journey to Kabul. The bond between the siblings is evident as they navigate the harsh realities of their lives in the village.

Chapter 4-6: Kabul, 1952

Readers are introduced to the Wahdati family, who adopts Pari. The narrative delves into the impact of Pari's adoption on both her and Abdullah, as well as the intricate dynamics within the Wahdati household.

Chapter 7-9: Peshawar, Pakistan

Nabi, the family's servant, becomes entwined in the lives of the characters, leading to pivotal decisions that shape the course of their futures.

Chapter 10-12: Paris, France

The story shifts to the bustling streets of Paris, where the lives of several characters intersect, revealing the enduring effects of the choices made in the past.

Chapter 13-15: Tinos, Greece

Markos, a Greek plastic surgeon, grapples with his own inner turmoil as his story intertwines with those of the other characters, spanning continents and generations.

Chapter 16-18: San Francisco, California

The narrative delves into the lives of Idris and Timur, two brothers whose actions have far-reaching consequences that reverberate through the lives of the other characters.

Main Events

Throughout the novel, several key events shape the destinies of the characters and drive the narrative forward:

  1. The Separation of Abdullah and Pari: The heart-wrenching decision by their father to give Pari up for adoption sets the stage for the central conflict of the novel.
  2. Nabi's Choices: Nabi's decisions and sacrifices have lasting repercussions on the lives of the characters, unveiling the complexities of love and loyalty.
  3. The Intersecting Lives: The paths of the characters converge in unexpected ways, leading to poignant and revelatory moments that highlight the enduring connections between them.

Themes and Insights

Hosseini's novel delves into a myriad of themes and insights that resonate throughout the narrative, offering profound reflections on the human experience:

Family and Sacrifice

The novel explores the depths of familial love and the sacrifices made in the name of family, portraying the enduring bonds that transcend time and distance.

Loss and Longing

The characters grapple with profound feelings of loss and longing, stemming from separation, unfulfilled dreams, and the yearning for connection and belonging.

Redemption and Forgiveness

The narrative delves into themes of redemption and forgiveness, highlighting the capacity for healing and reconciliation even in the face of profound pain and betrayal.

Identity and Belonging

The characters navigate questions of identity and belonging, grappling with their roots, heritage, and the search for a place to call home.

Fate and Choices

The novel examines the interplay between fate and choices, showcasing how seemingly small decisions can have profound and far-reaching consequences.

Reader's Takeaway

"And the Mountains Echoed" is a poignant and evocative exploration of the human experience, offering a deeply moving portrayal of love, loss, and the enduring power of familial bonds. Through its richly drawn characters and interconnected narratives, the novel invites readers to contemplate the complexities of human relationships, the resilience of the human spirit, and the profound impact of choices made across generations.


In conclusion, Khaled Hosseini's "And the Mountains Echoed" stands as a testament to the author's storytelling prowess, weaving a tapestry of interconnected lives and poignant moments that linger in the hearts of readers. With its evocative themes and deeply human characters, the novel leaves an indelible mark, inviting readers to contemplate the enduring echoes of love and sacrifice that resonate across time and place.

And the Mountains Echoed FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'And the Mountains Echoed'?

    The genre of 'And the Mountains Echoed' is historical fiction.

  2. Who is the author of 'And the Mountains Echoed'?

    Khaled Hosseini is the author of 'And the Mountains Echoed'.

  3. What is the book 'And the Mountains Echoed' about?

    The book 'And the Mountains Echoed' is about the bonds between siblings, the impact of choices, and the power of love.

  4. Is 'And the Mountains Echoed' a standalone novel or part of a series?

    'And the Mountains Echoed' is a standalone novel and not part of a series.

  5. What is the setting of 'And the Mountains Echoed'?

    The story in 'And the Mountains Echoed' spans multiple decades and is set in locations including Afghanistan, Paris, and California.