“Not one of Michener's best, but interesting. The basic story centers on Mark Miller, a young American diplomat in Afghanistan just after WWII. But it was written in 1963, so it's still a pretty old story. His assignment is to find Ellen Jaspar, spoiled Bryn Mawr co-ed who ran away with an Afghan student and has not contacted her parents in over a year. Miller's secondary mission -- or perhaps the primary one for which the Jaspar girl is the cover -- is to learn what he can about the modernization of Afghanistan, and what the Russians are up to. He does both.
Along the way, Miller falls in love. First he falls in love with Afghanistan, then with Mira, a nomad girl in the caravan in which Ellen Jaspar is traveling. There's also a German doctor who does not know that Miller is a Jew, and any number of completely incomprehensible Afghan characters. Most of Michener's point is that Afghanistan is nothing like we think it is. Whether in 1946, 1963, or 2013, I think he's right. I also think that's quite OK with me.
As with all of Michener's books, we learn a lot about the geography and history of the lands through which we travel, but rather less than usual about the people. Perhaps it's just me, but I get the impression Michener has found the Afghan people, and especially the nomads, at least as mysterious as Mark Miller did.”