This tale begins in Afghanistan in 1952, where ten-year-old Abdullah and his beloved 3 year –old sister are separated when the impoverished family sells the little girl to a wealthy, childless couple in Kabul. This arrangement is brokered by Nabi, the faithful servant of the Kabul couple, who is also brother of the children’s step-mother.
What ensues is a rich family saga that features nine main characters, taking the reader from the mid-20th century to the present, in locations as far-flung as Afghanistan, Paris, Greece, and California. It is the story of loyalty and love but also of cruelty, betrayal, and how circumstances affect morality.
It is sometimes a little difficult to keep track of the many characters, but the story is clearly in the hands of a brilliant storyteller. A very discussible book, And the Mountains Echoed is highly recommended for book groups.