This small book (it's only 195 pages) was so moving and powerful, I could hardly put it down. Even though Iraq and Afghanistan are in the news so frequently, it's hard for me to imagine what life is really like in these countries. The writing in The Swallows of Kabul is stark and evocative. It puts you so clearly in Kabul, even under the physically and emotionally stifling woman's burqa.
It's one of those stories where the lives of unrelated characters intersect. Usually you can guess how this will happen, but this climax surprised me. And the ending was a shock, but I can't see how it could end any other way.