I'm a HUGE Michener fan. He has a way of telling an excellent story while giving you a history lesson at the same time. I devoured Caravans in just under two days. It's chalk full of adventure and everything complex that makes Afghanistan such an incredible country.
I couldn't believe that a story, set in post WWII 40's, could still be so culturally relevant to the region and its problems of today. Anyone who has served in Afghanistan will get chills up their spine reading this book and drawing the comparisons that exist presently. There are some incredible examples of deeply rooted religious beliefs that continue to make it very challenging for women in Afghanistan and the surrounding region today. The hints of Russian involvement (remember this was written in the 60's) that came to fruition are uncanny.
Can't recommend it enough. If you end up reading it please drop by on Kit Up to tell me what you thought of the book. Here's some more info below. Enjoy!
THE NEW YORK TIMES
In this romantic adventure of wild Afghanistan, master storyteller James Michener mixes the allure of the past with the dangers of today. After an impetuous American girl, Ellen Jasper, marries a young Afghan engineer, her parents hear no word from her. Although she wants freedom to do as she wishes, not even she is sure what that means. In the meantime, she is as good as lost in that wild land, perhaps forever.... "An extraordinary novel....Brilliant."
The story is set in Afghanistan immediately following World War II. The protagonist, Mark Miller, is stationed in Kabul at the American embassy and is given the assignment of an investigation to find a young woman, Ellen Jaspar, also from the United States, who has disappeared after her marriage to an Afghan national thirteen months previously.
During his journey through Afghanistan, Miller comes to a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of contemporary Afghan life. His travels also reveal the similarities of human nature across cultural and social boundaries.
Americareads blog spot: A literary guide to Afghanistan