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His mother died giving birth to him, and his father, Baba, never seems to offer the unflinching love and approval that young Amir craves.

Baba is a tall, imposing figure whose intimidating personality and stature command both his household and the family's neighborhood in Kabul. Amir, by contrast, is unathletic, timid, and nonconfrontational.

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As the 1980s and 1990s progress, these battles rage on, and Amir's fiercest battle is within his own heart and his own conscience.

The winter of 1975, and the secrets he holds from that time, gnaw at him and refuse to go away.

I want to tear myself from this place, from this reality, rise up like a cloud and float away, melt into this humid summer night and dissolve somewhere far, over the hills.

But I am here, my legs blocks of concrete, my lungs empty of air, my throat burning. There will be no other reality tonight.s place on my list.

Finally, a phone call from an old friend forces Amir to face his past, fight a battle he never could have imagined, and either reject or embrace his one chance for redemption.

Throughout the novel, we see the raw pain of reality; we see a nation cruelly dissembled and a man equally torn apart.

This is a tale of guilt born from a buried past; it is a tale of the hope -- however miniscule -- for a redeeming peace.

Even before the winter of 1975, Amir's childhood is far from perfect.

But even here, in the land of opportunity, Amir cannot find peace.

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