The novel "Lipstick in Afghanistan" by Roberta Gately tells the story of an idealistic young American nurse who goes to Afghanistan after 9/11 as a humanitarian aid worker.
After arriving in the small town of Bamiyan, Elsa learns to live with the bare essentials, to navigate cultural differences, and to treat a population ravaged by war and poverty, with very few resources.
Roberta Gately knows her subject well since she's served as a nurse and humanitarian aid worker in Africa and Afghanistan. Her knowledge of the sights, sounds, customs and culture provide "Lipstick in Afghanistan" with a unique authenticity.
One of the other great things about the book is it doesn't only tell us Elsa's story but tells the story of Parween, a young Afghan girl whose life is irrevocably changed with the arrival of the ruthless Taliban.
Elsa and Parween eventually meet and become friends and work together to improve life for the community's residents.