Comparable to the classics
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I cannot remember when I last was so emotionally involved with a story and the characters portrayed. The experience was absorbing, sometimes draining, and immensely rewarding.

Some reviewers have found the narrative trite, predictable, and obviously contrived for moviedom; the same comments could conceivably apply to the works of Dickens, Hugo, Tolstoi, among many. Perhaps the huge cultural abyss between the USA and Afghanistan may lead some readers to similar conclusions; however, having been brought up in a similar culture, I found the characters and emotions not only credible, but heartwrenchingly familiar.

This novel should not be read as a roadmap to the complexities of the recent history and politics of Afghanistan; instead the reader should absorb the emotional lives and drama of the personalities so deftly portrayed, and use their perspectives to interpret the socio-political facts sketched in the news media.