I just finished the new book by Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and it was very powerful. Maybe not as emotional as The Kite Runner, but still it packed a punch. Hosseini is a wonderful storyteller. He immediately places you firmly in Afghanistan before the Russians invade, following the childhood of Mariam, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy Herat movie house owner. When Mariam visits her father’s house, she sets off a series of events that end in her getting married to a shoemaker from Kabul. He brutalizes her, then marries a younger, more educated woman, Laila, who is orphaned by the Afghanistan revolution. Mariam and Laila develop a strong relationship against the grimness of life under the Taliban and their abusive husband. I spent the better part of two nights absorbing this fascinating book. I truly could not stop reading it. Highly recommended!