From the time she was a little girl, Maryam rebelled against the terrible second-class existence that was her destiny as an Afghan woman. She had witnessed the miserable fate of her grandmother and three aunts, and wished she had been born a boy. As a feisty teenager in Kabul, she was outraged when the Russians invaded her country. After she made a public show of defiance, she had to flee the country for her life. A new life of freedom seemed within her grasp,but her father arranged a traditional marriage to a fellow Afghan, who turned out to be a violent man. Beaten, raped and abused, Maryam found joy in the birth of a baby son. But then her brutal husband stole him away far beyond his mother's reach. For many long years she searched for her lost son, while civil war and Taliban oppression raged back home in Afghanistan. Set against a landscape littered with tragic tales of horrific suffering, Jean Sasson, author of Princess, chronicles the story of one resolute but tormented woman determined to achieve freedom and equality with men.