Hey guys, I have to admit when I first saw this month’s book selection I was a bit reluctant (it was my partner’s selection this month). Not only is this book about Afghanistan (which I know NOTHING about), but it’s also about brotherly/family love. People that know me would know I’m not into the cuddly, sweet-talking, fuzzy love thing, especially when it comes to family. So yes, although I was reluctant I still kept an open mind while reading it, thinking one of the advantages of having a book club is to make you read books you usually wouldn’t read, and boy I have to say it was SUCH a nice surprise!
I really liked the book. To be more precise, I loved Hosseini’s ability to tell stories, how he can hook you right into any story and he can describe with words with such precision the feelings and emotions we can all identify with in the face of family, disease and aging. Throughout the course of the book, it actually made me think about my own family, about dealing with siblings, about the different kinds of love and how they are displayed differently from and for every person. It tells the story of family love beautifully, and its bitter-sweet ending left me crying!
***DISCLAIMER: BELOW SECTION CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!*** If you haven’t read the book but would like to then come back when you’re done 🙂
The story line revolves around the love and bond of a brother and his little sister, Abdullah and Pari, who are torn apart during their childhood. Their father loves them deeply, however because he cannot provide for them as well as he’d like to, he has no choice but to ‘sell’ his little girl to a wealthy family, in hopes that she will have a better future even if it’s without them. In spite of the shock of this arrangement at the beginning of the book, it slowly unveils the different stories, motives and regrets behind each of the characters involved, covering 3 continents over the course of 50 years.
It is a story about true family, not just love and nurture, but also regret, sickness, wound and betrayal. To me it shows how beautiful family can be, but at the same time how hurtful and unruly the world really is. Definitely a book for thought.
Below questions are just a discussion guide, please feel free to discuss anything and everything!
1. The story starts with the shocking adoption of Pari by the Wahdatis. This was actually caused by Nabi as it was he who’d suggested it to Nila, but it was also him who reunites them both after his death. What do you think of Saboor, Nila and Nabi’s decision? Who do you agree and like the most and why? Do you think Pari would have been happier if she’d stayed with Saboor?
2. Throughout the book there are several sacrifices that are made: Saboor to give up Pari, Parwana to leave her sister, Nila to leave Mr. Wahdati, Markos’s mom to let her son go…etc. Do you think they are all equally difficult? Are they all worthy? To whom in terms of family members is it the most difficult?
3. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, / there is a field. I’ll meet you there." The book raises many deep questions about the wavering line between right and wrong, and whether it is possible to be purely “good"—or purely “bad." What do you think after reading the novel: Are good intentions enough to create good deeds? Can positive actions come from selfish motivations? Can bad come from positive intent? How do you think this novel would define a good person?
4. What do you think the title of the book “And the Mountains Echoed" means and why was it chosen? What does it have to do with the story of the book?
Welcome anyone to discuss these and/or raise any other interesting points you found in the book! 🙂 x, Lilly
3. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, / there is a field. I’ll meet you there." （書的題詞）這本書探討許多對和錯的議題，和是否一個人或一件事可被視為完全對或錯。看完書後你覺得好的心意就足夠能證實手段嗎？自私的出發點能造成好的結果嗎？你覺得怎樣才算是個“好“的人？