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A Russian woman named Lara arrives in Afghanistan at the house of Marcus Caldwell, an Englishman and widower living in the shadow of the Tora Bora Mountains. Marcus's daughter, Zameen, may have known Lara's brother, a Soviet soldier who disappeared in the area many years previously. But like Marcus's wife, Zameen is dead; a victim of the age in which she was born.
In the days that follow, further people arrive at the house: two Americans who have spent much of their adult lives in the area; a young Afghan teacher; and a radicalised young man intent on his own path. And Nadeem Aslam paints a moving, beautiful and powerful portrait of a land and a people torn apart through love and war.
Nadeem Aslam is the author of three previous novels, Season of the Rainbirds (1993), Maps for Lost Lovers (2004) -longlisted for the Booker Prize, shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize, and awarded the Kiriyama Prize and the Encore Award - and, most recently, The Wasted Vigil, described by A. S. Byatt as 'unforgettable ... tragic and beautifully written'. Born in Pakistan, he now lives in England.