One of the best books I have ever encountered, epic, sensitive, passionate and thought provoking.
The plot revolves around the premise that joy and pleasure cannot be fully appreciated without experiencing and understanding of their opposite - Pain. Without the negetive things in life, our appreciation of what is good and pure has nothing to measure against and as such becomes nondescript and ordinary.
The book is filled with different characters, across multiple timelines, but the main theme is prevelent in each of the tales. This ties all of the characters together in their joint understanding of what it is to suffer, and through that suffering to fully appreciate the lives that they live.
A great book about humanity.