Identical twins Ruzbeh and Behruz are at the center of Ali Hosseini's debut novel in English—a story about love, redemption, and the courage to survive in the face of calamity and loss. The novel begins in the small town in southern Iran where the boys were raised and in their summer home which is surrounded by a lemon grove. Their idyll is shattered by personal and geopolitical events. Both boys fall in love with Shireen, a childhood friend. Behruz goes to America to escape the pain of competing for Shireen's affections. Ruzbeh fights in the Iran/Iraq war and ends up alone and wandering the streets. When Behruz returns to Iran to help his shell-shocked brother, he finds the country devastated by revolution and war. His return sets off a string of events that change all their lives.