It’s Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion, and Veronica Doubleday and her husband settle in Herat, where John is planning to study the local musical tradition. Veronica makes friends with three very different young women, slowly immersing herself in the unfamiliar world of Herati female culture. Although constrained by tradition, these women are far from submissive, each skilfully exerting influence in the management of their lives. They welcome Veronica into their homes and include her in family events and celebrations. It’s a world of intense friendships, music-making, support and laughter, as well as illness, hardship and sadness. Veronica inhabits their world without judgement, even wearing a veil herself, and gives us rare, deep and privileged access to a hidden realm.