Month: September 2013

My Thoughts On “And The Mountains Echoed” by Hosseini

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I liked The Kite Runner. I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns. And along comes And The Mountains Echoed.

The idea of the book — to follow the consequences of one painful action — is a wonderful one. And Hosseini is a master storyteller.

But I must admit that this book got a little away from him. The stories were a little disjointed as he explored voices further away from the original story.

I liked The Kite Runner. I loved A Thousand Splendid Sons. As for And The Mountains Echoed, each story was amazing on its own but did not flow well as a complete unit.


What I’m Reading: And The Mountains Echoed by Hosseini

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Khaled Hosseini’s third novel is told via a series of interlinking stories—beginning in an Afghanistan village in 1952 when an impoverished man named Saboor is faced with the prospect of giving up one of his children in order to survive.

From this crucial moment, the narrative expands, as Saboor’s decision impacts his descendants and acquaintances for generations to come.


My Thoughts on The Silver Star by Walls

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As a huge fan of Walls’ book The Glass Castle, my heart sunk a little bit when I realized how much of Walls’ life was being placed at her first effort of fiction: The Silver Star. As I said, I loved The Glass Castle, but that does not mean that I wanted to relive it. It was simply too heavy to experience a second time. In the book The Silver Star the two sisters are forced to go back East and live with family members there. While they are on the road, I dreaded each new paragraph. “Oh no,” I thought, “is there going to be a dirty, sick, disgusting, revolting, jailable, prosecutable Grandma waiting for them?”

Wonderfully, no. There is only an uncle who is a little quirky. But quirky or no, the girls finally have a safe place. I wish Walls had been able to find one at the same age.

I liked this book. The story of the two girls is engaging as they try to find their way in their parent’s old stomping grounds. The oldest sister has been forced to be the responsible one for so long, it is interesting to see what happens to her when she no longer has to save everyone. Not to give too much away, it is her turn to be saved.

What I liked most about this book is that is has instant kharma: the good prosper and the bad are punished most efficiently.

I recommend this book!


What I’m Reading Now: The Silver Star by Walls

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Being a single mother is never easy, but for Charlotte Holladay, a wannabe folk singer in 1970, raising her 15- and 12-year-old daughters, Liz and Jean (aka “Bean”), is more than she can handle.

Known for dropping out when things get tough, Charlotte’s latest spell of parental abandonment attracts police attention and the girls flee California rather than face being placed in foster care.

A cross-country bus trip lands them on the doorstep of their only relative, the previously unmet Uncle Tinsley, and their arrival proves to be as much of a shock for the reclusive widower as it is for the girls themselves.

As the trio learns to coexist, Liz and Bean try to fit into the small southern town. With money tight, they land jobs with mill foreman Jerry Maddox, an overbearing brute who runs roughshod over the town’s residents and takes advantage of Liz’s trusting nature, with devastating results.

Readers familiar with Walls’ backstory from her luminous memoir, The Glass Castle (2005), will recognize elements of her personal history in this captivating, read-in-one-sitting, coming-of-age adventure. –Carol Haggas