It's the story of two different girls from two very different childhoods surviving their own personal tragedies only to be put at odds with each and their journey to overcome those petty battles between people to form a bond most unbreakable. Such is the story arch and overall theme of Hosseini's novel. It is set against the backdrop of a dangerous, volatile, beautiful, and tragic country: modern day Afgahnistan. As a reader, especially of the younger generation, there are moments when you hear of Afgahnistan, but never more than little tidbits all going to support the overall preconception of the "Middle East". But this book, very obviously at times, stvies to break those ideas and stereotypes by telling a story of the people of the country being thrown about is an ever-waging war for land and power. Real people with real history and real stories, even if it's only fiction.