Length: 10 hours, 27 minutes
A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don't meet the one.
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away.
Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.
It’s been a hot second since I read One Day in December (read: a month) and it’s a story that’s still sticking with me. JSilver managed to incorporate some pretty meaty themes in relating Laurie and Jack’s journey to their HEA. It’s not a conventional path. In fact, I would even consider this a romance. And yet, it is in its own way. One Day in December rolls together tragedy, happiness, loyalty, love, friendship, and betrayal, leaving you with the certainty that everyone’s path to that elusive HEA is varied. And beautiful…in its own way.
So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one...Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari - as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named - is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.
And the Mountains Echoed was the first book by KHosseini I’ve read. Believe me when I say it won’t be the last. This was a book club pick and had I known the heartbreak I would encounter in this book, I would have skipped it. That would have been tragic. KHosseini’s writing is beautiful and his storytelling talent amazing. I hate writing a blip of a review for this book but I couldn’t do it justice anyway.
And the Mountains Echoed spans several decades and tells the stories of several people/families. Through the stories, KHosseini relates how love, loyalty, and sacrifice affect the lives of those our own lives touch. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. And the Mountains Echoed was riveting, gut-wrenching, and heartwarming. It’s a story that’s left a ripple-effect on me. And I’m keen to see what else KHosseini has to offer me.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 Audio Challenge
- 2021 Audiobook Challenge