I am currently reading THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL by Nadia Hashimi.
This is a story of two women in two very different Afghanistans: one on the brink of modernizations several generations ago, and the other on the brink of collapse under the pressure of the war between the Taliban and the Western forces.
These two women, Rahima and her great-great-grandmother Shekiba face similar problems being women in a society that does not have any role for women besides bearing sons and doing housework.
The writing often doesn't flow, however, the more I read, the more I became invested in the characters and the story.
Through Rahima, THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL deals with questions that most of us living in Western countries would not really think consciously about in this decade (the right to education for girls, the freedom for girls to exist without being seen as indecent, women’s biggest achievement being more than the birth of sons, etc).
I found it heart-breaking to read about Rahima and think of child-brides like her existing today, but I found it even more frustrating to see how little has changed in the role of women between the generations of these characters.
I recommend this book in spite of some minor flaws. It's an eye-opener.