Ten years ago, the first novel of an unknown author was published. Let’s just say it made a big impression. THE KITE RUNNER was not only a critical hit, but was a reader’s favorite. Five years later, Khaled Hosseini published his second novel, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS. Again, Hosseini was hailed as a master storyteller and readers were already wanting more. We now have his latest book, AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED, and I can only say he has done it again.
I am a book nerd, there is no doubt about it. I am the kind of person who gets nervous for the writer. I worry that they feel this huge pressure to follow up their latest book and I also worry that the new novel will disappoint me. You then wonder how a writer does what he does, how can he write perfection over and over? Maybe Harper Lee was right, maybe writers only have one book in them. But we know that is not true, as writers get better and better, and Hosseini is an example of this.
AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED covers three continents and sixty years. It is about love, betrayal, friendship, parenting, and memory. It has a variety of voices, places and stories and they all work wonderfully together. Hosseini is so good at creating characters that are filled with depth and have such realistic voices. For me, this new novel did not have the big emotional impact as the other books did, but that is absolutely fine. Khaled Hosseini is who you want sitting around a campfire telling everyone a story. The good news is that this is a fabulous novel, the bad news is that we will likely have to wait another five years for his next novel. But what a novel it will be!
ONE LAST THING BEFORE I GO by Jonathan Tropper
And now for something completely different….I have been a Jonathan Tropper fan for many years. His lead character is always a bumbling, sad sack sort of guy who you end up rooting for. In his latest novel, Drew Silver seems like a major loser. He lives in residential hotel, he used to be a rock star for a few minutes, he is now a drummer in a wedding band, he has a beautiful ex- wife and a teen age daughter who he barely knows, and he just finds out that he has a life threatening illness. Sound like fun? You will smile and laugh at times and then it just tugs at your heart.
If you have not read Tropper’s earlier books, I encourage you to do so. His books are great for a summer read or just a good break from a heavy duty story. He has a great ear for humor and family drama and it all works out in the end. You will enjoy this read.
Recommended reading—I have just read my first Maeve Binchy book and it was her last one—A WEEK IN WINTER. I completely enjoyed it. A perfect book for the summer, a nice break for the really “dramatic” books I read. Drink some lemonade, go to Ireland and relax with Binchy.

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  • Aledys Ver  On July 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Fantastic, it’s great to hear that Hosseini’s 3rd book is just as good as his previous ones. I really, really love Middle Eastern authors – they’re my favourites.
    I’ve always felt curious about Bichy but I’ve never got round to reading anything by her yet. Thanks for the tips.

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