And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini is clearly a gifted story teller who loves his craft. In this case, And the Mountains Echoed, he loved the act of telling a bit too much. The Afghani fairy tale and tale of the family which is split open by poverty, war, and depression are central and enough. The story of the Greek doctor who ran from his home to war torn Afghanistan is lovely, moving, but deserves its own book. It does not ruin the book, but it misleads the reader.

Hosseini's first two books focus on the violence of war and of the character's violence on each other. Of course there is love, too. And the Mountains Roared does not contain the physical violence. It focuses on the emotional violence which is found in every culture, in many families. That can be an even sadder story.
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Paris and Abdoulla, siblings, first lose their mother, then each other. Is Pari sold or given up for a "better" life? Poverty and loss are at the center of this novel. It's not just that simple. Pari's adoptive parents adore her, but hate each other and themselves. So many complex family relationships play out, it seems silly to introduce the non related Markos and Thalia and their separate family trials.

Read the book. I know you've got it on your list. Just know that in this case, less would have been enough.
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