Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism. The sense of longing evoked in Khaled Hosseini's Alf shams sati'a is compelling and universal: the passionate search for love, family, home, acceptance, a healthy society, and a promising future, regardless of the obstacles. Like The Kite Runner, this novel transcends boundaries and illuminates the people and culture of a region that has been reluctantly thrust into the international spotlight. Above all, however, Alf shams sati'a is a stunning literary accomplishment.