What I liked about this book was that it observed and refrained from judging, as much as that is ever possible. We get various angles on the same person, in relation to different family members, which makes for a contradictory but truthful and rich picture. These are real people, not fictional characters, and their cruelty goes hand in hand with amazing sensibility, their narrow-mindedness is followed closely by their yearning for change. There is no happy-ending or resolution, not because the author is pessimistic, but simply because this is just how things turn out for this family. The chaos of life in Afghanistan is reflected in the chaos in individual lives, the rigidity and inability to step out of the crushing restrictions imposed by family, tradition, religion. And very often, when I found myself thinking "But why are they doing this, why can't they do otherwise?", I realised that the answer was simply: because this is how things are for them at that moment.