This is Hosseini's third novel, his weakest so far.
The story begins with the separation of the siblings Abdullah and Pari when Pari is sold to a childless rich couple in Kabul. What follows is a collection of short stories of people who are sometimes closely, sometimes loosely connected to that event, stories of love, of friendship, of blurred lines between these two, of family, of failure, of how people deal with loss, sickness, disfigurement in their own ways. And of how loved ones might not turn out to be whom you thought them to be.
"Sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand."
Again, Hosseini manages to weave a tapestry with his words, especially the first story of about 50 pages, and the stories and allegories which are turned into reality within that one, showcase his tremendous abilities as a writer. But as much as the main story arc comes together in the end, there are unfortunately parts that remain apart, that don't mesh with the others... well, that don't quite fit right into this tapestry. Maybe it's the various changes in story-telling, maybe it's the way people are included who don't actually feature in the main plot, but in my opinion 2 or 3 of those short stories could have been cut without damaging the overall arc.
Even though this novel didn't grip me as much as his 2 previous ones - although, make no mistake, some stories, the first one, Nabi's and of course the bittersweet ending, again an allegory in itself about the blessing and the curse of forgetting, of letting go and of holding on, again brought a lump to my throat if not outright tears to my eyes -, I'm still in awe of Hosseini's talent and definitely on the lookout for his next book.