The characters of Soraya and Amir share many similarities. Both have grown up in Afghanistan as the children of powerful, influential fathers: Baba is a rich philanthropist, while Iqbal Taheri is an army general. Both Amir and Soraya share dark secrets in their past: Amir's betrayal of Hassan haunts him continuously, while Soraya's affair with a past boyfriend has tainted her reputation and caused distress in the family. They have each caused harm to their mothers: Amir's mother died during childbirth, while Soraya's mother suffered a stroke when she ran away from home. Both Amir and Soraya wonder if they are worthy of the other. They each yearn for children, but Soraya is unable to have one of her own. Following their marriage, the relationships with their parents improve, and they seem to thrive on the independence they have apart from them.