This novel follows the life of Salid, a privileged, spoiled boy in Afghanistan pre the Russian occupation. I would recommend this book with a few reservations. I spent the majority of the novel disgusted with the main character for his self centered choices, including standing by and letting his best friend be tormented and sexually assaulted by several neighborhood bullies. His choice to alienate his childhood confidant to ease his own conscience was saddening and at times difficult to read. However, it is one of those novels that leaves the reader with a lasting impression, albeit an uneasy one. The good news is that by the end of the novel, I had made an uneasy peace with Salid. Hosseini's writing is beautiful and rich though the end of the novel is a bit contrived as he tries to tie up all the loose ends.