The book follows the lives of two women from Afghanistan from the mid 50s to the present. I felt like I learned so much about the culture, history, and hardships. But it was weaved into the story so wonderfully that it didn't feel like a history lesson. I was fascinated from about page 3 all the way to the end. I think the thing that was most riveting for me was that one of the women from the story was born a year or two before me, and as her story was told I kept thinking what I was doing at that age, and how life was so different for her. The author included the year at the beginning of some chapters so you could follow the timeline and you realize that these things happened recently - not twenty or thirty years ago. The atrocities against these women were very real and very recent. There were many portions of the book that I just cried through. And then when I got to the end, I just sat there and cried some more.
I strongly recommend reading this book. I now really want to read The Kite Runner. Add one or both of these books to your holiday reading schedule!