Hassan and Farzana insisted on staying in the servants' hut and doing housework. Farzana's first baby was stillborn. One day, Sanaubar collapsed at the gate of the house. She had traveled a long way to finally make peace with Hassan, who accepted her with open arms. Sanaubar delivered Hassan and Farzana's son, Sohrab and played a large part in raising him. She died when he was four. Hassan made sure that Sohrab was loved, literate, and great with a slingshot. When the Taliban took over in 1996, people celebrated, but Hassan predicted that things would get worse, as they did. In 198, the Taliban massacred the Hazaras in Mazar-i-Sharif.
The first three chapters set out the basic facts of the story, including who the major characters are, their backgrounds, and what their relationships with each other are like. The section also establishes a context for the information: Amir, our narrator, is an adult living in the United States and looking back on his childhood years in Afghanistan. In fact, history is an important theme in the novel, and looking back on the past is a recurring motif. That’s because, for Amir, the past is not over. He believes it to be a fundamental part of who he is, and no matter how far he is in time or location from his childhood in Afghanistan, the events of that period are always with him. Though it remains unclear why, he feels a tremendous sense of guilt about those events, and he believes they shaped him into who he is. This guilt, in fact, informs the entire narrative. Appropriately, he opens the novel in the present then quickly jumps back in time.
In the opening chapter of the book, the narrator, Amir, provides the framework for the rest of the story. It is December 2001, and Amir, who is an adult and has been living in the United States for the past two decades, has just received a phone call from Rahim Khan, an old family friend in Afghanistan. After requesting that Amir return to his homeland to see him, Rahim Khan had closed the conversation by saying cryptically, "There is a way to be good again". The old man's words cause Amir to remember people and a host of memories - "Hassan...Baba...Ali...Kabul... the life (he) had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything".