In the years before the communist coup and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Veronica Doubleday set up home in the ancient city of Herat with her husband, who was researching Central Asian music. At first, her only glimpses of women were as shadows--faceless and voiceless. Gradually, however, she formed friendships with three young mothers who welcomed her into their lives, taught her their customs and music and shared the details of their everyday existence. She witnessed their most personal moments: the births and deaths of their children, their marriages and celebrations, religious holidays, healings, and rituals. After the Soviet invasion in 1979, she lost touch with her friends, but returned to Herat recently, adding another chapter to this poignant story.