The sun may shine in Afghanistan, where this book is set, but it does not illuminate a pretty picture of life from a woman's perspective during the last 30 years during which this novel takes place. Nevertheless, this is a moving story of love, survival and hope, despite the hardships and horrors. The author, Khaled Hosseini, Afghan born, also wrote The Kite Runner, a semi auto-biographical novel set in Afghanistan and the US, which I read in 2005.
In other book news I've now finished #10 in Patrick O'Brian's historical fiction series about the British Navy around the time of the War of 1812. This one, The Far Side of the World, and the first one, Master and Commander, were combined in the movie version released a few years ago starring Russell Crowe. Now I'm debating whether to watch the movie now or after I finish the whole series of 21 books. One more and I'll be over half way done!
And in case you are concerned about whether I'm still keeping up with the youth book reading required to do my job well, don't worry -- also just finished a teen science fiction series, the Hungry City Chronicles; and currently reading a possible Newbery contender called The Underneath.