Amir's guilty conscience is based primarily on two beliefs that he has never been able to alter. First, he has had to live with the sins he committed against Hassan: failing to help him when he was sodomized by Assef; and, later, planting the money and gifts under Hassan's mattress so that he will be accused of thievery by Baba. Secondly, Amir was never able to live up to his father's expectations as a child, but after Baba's death, Amir discovers the dark secret that his father had kept from him: that Baba was actually Hassan's father--and Amir's half-brother. Amir realizes that the only way he will be able to rid himself of his own guilt--and nightmares and insomnia--as well as the sins committed by the father and son is by locating and providing a safe haven for Hassan's son, Sohrab. In doing so, Amir hopes to find redemption for himself as well as to atone for Baba's indiscretion and life of lies. But as Amir finds, just bringing Sohrab to the safety of California is not enough: He must also convince his nephew that people can be trusted and that love can exist even for a mistreated Hazara boy.