"The End of Manners" by Francesca Marciano

A wonderful book.  It is a novel but it is written in such a way that I often forgot I was reading a novel. s realism sometimes made you think you were reading a true account.  I don’t know whether or not this was based on a true account.  Either way, it is an amazing read.  It is the story of a woman photojournalist from Italy named Maria Galante who after years of staying away from news stories (due to a past incident which shook her up) earned her living taking photos for various food magazines.  A call from her former editor convinces her to take an assignment in Afghanistan, along with a British journalist, to cover a story about the plight of Afghan women, specifically the high rate of suicide among them.  She reluctantly agrees and heads off to the war zone, and learns a great deal about Afghan culture, the precise roll of women in that society, and the roll of the occupation forces which had pretty much taken over much of Kabul.  
Her descriptions of war torn Kabul and the Afghan villages are vivid, bringing you right there along with her - and again, written with such a sense of realism that I would be amazed if the author had not actually been there herself.  If not, it would be a testament to her abilities as a writer and to her imagination as a whole.  This is a book that I would highly recommend and it is one that will make you think about a lot of things after reading it, especially about the role of women in society - both theirs and ours.    
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