Undoubtedly one of the best books I have read in a long long time. Narrated in simple language, the book revolves around the life of two Afghani women and their fight for life's fundamental issues.
The story's background begins even before the days of the Soviet war in Afghanistan when the Mujahideen is seen as a nationalistic group, out there to oust the foreign enemies, to the rise of the Talibans and finally to the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and the current coalition government. The story feeds at periodic intervals, the troubled history of the country and the injustices of war - the people killied, the families torn apart and most of all the apathy of the women in their country.
Amidst all this are two women - Mariam, to whom the only thing life has ever taught is to endure and Laila who's surprisingly liberal family and childhood love have all been nurtured to only be crushed brutally. How the two disparate women's life intermingle and how together they win over their circumstances in life is put in such explicit and sometimes heart breaking detail that you almost pray for them towards the end.
All I can say is that I feel blessed after reading this book. I am so lucky to be me. To think that such stories are a reality in some part of the world, put a few things in perspective to me.
A must read for every woman and more so for a man.