This book has already received a great deal of prepub attention, and the author is already well-known to most readers, but Khaled Hosseini's new novel, his third, deserves yet another mention here. And the Mountains Echoed takes us back to Afghanistan for a story of two siblings separated at a young age. The book is sprawling, with numerous characters, settings, and time frames to keep track of. But as usual, Hosseini weaves a thread through the pages that is fairly easy to follow, and brings it all together at the end. He is such a talented storyteller. It is a simple story, really, of a family pried apart in a battered, struggling country that endures one devastating war after another. If you think you are weary of reading stories in such a setting, don't dismiss this book. The story, which spans about 60 years, is ultimately uplifting and life affirming. And the characters are drawn so completely--some endearing and some not--that you will feel as if they are in the room with you. They each have their own critical part to play in the story. Don't miss it.