Published October 24. 2013 4:00AM
With "Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns," Khaled Hosseini became a hugely successful novelist. His latest, "And the Mountains Echoed," shows the author maintaining his strengths while aiming for something more ambitious. What sets "Mountains" in motion: A young brother and sister in Afghanistan are separated when the girl, Pari, is sold to a wealthy, childless couple. Pari's mother moves them to Paris, where Pari grows up to become a professor. Her brother, Abdullah, takes refuge as an adult in California, when Afghanistan becomes ravaged by war. He runs a restaurant and names his daughter Pari, haunted as he is by losing his sister. This story is just the foundation of the sprawling "Mountains." As a good number of novelists seem to do these days, Hosseini breaks the book up into segments focused on different characters, their tales and their points of view. He ups the ante by hopscotching the globe and traipsing through time. Sometimes, it feels a bit unwieldy. But his eye for detail, his feel for drama and his sense of place - no matter what "place" it is - remain rich. And, as always, his work makes for a wonderful read.
- KRISTINA DORSEY