From the time she was a little girl, Maryam rebelled against the terrible second-class existence that was her destiny as an Afghan woman. Although she grew up in a privileged family, 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 in America seemed within her grasp, but her father had other ideas and 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. She escaped her brutal husband, but he kidnapped their little boy, and stole him away far beyond his mother's reach. For many long years she searched for her lost son, while hearing the most terrible stories of civil war and Taliban oppression from friends and relations 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.