One of those books that was just too painful to put down. So I finished it in a day. Great story. Hosseini is a skilled storyteller. The description of the settings - the time, the place, the circumstances - is very rich and detailed that you don't just get involved in the story, you also learn a bit of Afghanistan history. Yet even if it's set in Afghanistan, certain themes like family, friendships, betrayal, forgiveness are universal. I dare not summarize the plot lest I make it sound trite, telenovelaic; for to some degree it is. It's just the kind of emotionally charged book that is designed to hit you in the gut and make you cry and you hate it that you do. I dare you not to.