A tale of two women and a city. Hosseini charts the life in almost its entirety of Mariam and introduces Laila half way through who herself ends the book. Their lives are set against the difficult setting of Herat and ultimately Kabul in Hosseini's native Afghanistan. Over such a time period at the whole of Mariam's life we see Afghanistan, Kabul and her people and inhabitants (both residents and parasites) change enormously and are confronted with a Cold War setting which melts into civil war and 9-11 fallout and Allied Occupation. Existence is tough for women in these times and Hosseini shows their plight well and is at times skillfull enough to be shocking but doesn't over do it. His restraint is at times commendable when it would have been all too easy to preach or lecture. The world Hosseini creates in his book is at times all too real and thus a little uncomfortable, and when this is twinned with a great sense of page turning readability a successful outcome was never far away. Slight complaint possibly in the level of writing which is very much best seller rather than literary classic but as a holiday novel for example you could do far worse. Hosseini does crucially tell a great story and that quality he has is infectious. If one were so inclined he could reduce you to tears in parts and any author that can do that without resorting to tawdry tricks which he doesn;t is of note. A solid read which is in parts poetic and other parts merely pedestrian and vehicle to story. 4 out of 5 an recommended. "One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs (Kabul), Or the thousand splendid suns (the 'fictional' Mariam and Laila, and the very real Hosseini) that hide behind her walls."