One critic says this is his best novel since "The English Patient." Not having read it, I can't speak to that, but this is beautifully written, character-driven fiction.
The narrator/protagonist is a wounded soul whose enigmatic mother abandons him and his sister for four years during World War II. He subsequently seeks to reconstruct his mother's past and heal his fractured psyche, succeeding quite well in the first task but not too much in the second.
This is only a summary and, of course, does not do full justice to the story.
I definitely recommend this.