Mahmoud's passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she's ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.
Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister's family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.
Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe's capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.
Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star
This book is one that is going to stick with me for a long time. Days after finishing it, I have still found myself contemplating it multiple times a day and reliving certain scenes in my mind.
The story of the Waziri family and the terrible situation they find themselves in, this is also a story of ultimate triumph despite almost impossible circumstances. I cannot imagine what being a true refugee must be like, but this book gave me a good idea. I have never had to give everything up and fight just to survive but I could almost imagine it given the rich and detailed descriptions in this book.
Each character has their own very intense emotions about what they are going through and I feel that it helped created a more complete picture about the refugee experience because the perspective between one person to the next would vary and sometimes quite a lot. I felt like this was a realistic and very true approach to describing what they were going through.
If I can suggest one important book to be read this year, I think this book would have to be it. It gave me a broader view of the world we live in and made me think about a lot of important issues facing us today.
Thank you to William Morrow for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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