This is a timely and interesting novel with several important messages including, of all things, solar cooking solutions for Afghanistan. Sometimes you just don't have a clue about the simplest needs of people in faraway places.If you want to enjoy this, I think you really have to get into the mindset of reading it as if it were nonfiction. It's so clearly a reflection of the author's diplomatic experiences in Afghanistan. Its quality as a novel is not impressive. What's interesting is the on-the-ground knowledge about the culture and current conditions in the country.