And the Mountains Echoed Chapter Six Summary & Analysis
Chapter 6 Summary – February 1974
The story moves its focus to Pari, Abdullah’s sister, as a young adult living in Paris. She reluctantly receives a call from her mother’s doctor. She reveals that there has been a past of her mother having “accidents” and each time she answers these calls she thinks, “This time, this is the time” (178). The injury is not serious but she cancels her plans with her boyfriend and friends.
The narration then moves to an excerpt of a magazine interview with Nila. She opens the interview admitting that she wants to sever her ties with Afghanistan and discusses King Amanullah, the “visionary” who wanted to free women from the veil and allow them to attend school. “The king made the earth move, you see, but he was surrounded by an ocean of zealots, and you well know what happens when the ocean floor trembles” (182). She wanted to move away from Afghanistan for her daughter, so she would not become “one of those diligent, sad women who are bent on a lifelong course of quiet servitude, forever in fear of showing, saying, or doing the wrong thing” (182). However, she ends the interview saying, “children are never everything you’d hoped for” (183).
The narration shifts back to Pari at the hospital ER to pick up her mother. We learn that she still believes Nila is her birth mother. Nila had told her some lie about her Caesarean scar.
The story then moves into a flashback to when Pari had first met Julien, her boyfriend. The three went out to dinner together. Julien and her mother seem to hit it off for they are similar in age. “What did not surprise was Maman’s effortless and thorough seduction of Julien” (188). However, Julien had verbally flirted with Pari when Maman was not around, but her mother and he were lovers for about six months.
After leaving the hospital, the narration moves back to the interview with Nila again.
Nila reveals that she and Pari left Afghanistan when Pari was six. She tells a few details about her father; he was…