“The only way we can survive is to work together. Each of us must play our part. The minute we stand alone, we fall alone.”
Published: 30th Jan 2014
Publisher: Bodley Head
Score: 4 out of 5
Synopsis taken from Amazon:
Amina’s homeland has been ravaged by war for many months, but so far she and her family are safe, together. When a so-called liberating force arrives in the country, the family think their prayers for peace will soon be answered, but they are horribly wrong. The country is thrown into yet further turmoil and Amina’s family is devastated . . .
Through it all, Amina has her imagination to fall back on – of a better place and time. But can her stories get her through this?
I really enjoyed this book, found on a whim from my local library on the ‘New – Hot Picks’ stand. It is not a subject that I have read much about.
The story follows Amina and her sister Jenna as they leave their home and start on a devastatingly painful journey into a refugee camp. It is a story of grief, hope, loss, love, friendship and the power of imagination. The cover is certainly in keeping with this theme – the bond between sisters and the hope that the stars provide.
The emotional pain and suffering of Amina, her family and the people surrounding her is powerfully written. It certainly pulled on my heartstrings and made me think deeply about current events occurring around the world, in places such as Syria and Afghanistan. The sense of pressure and dictatorship placed on Amina and her sister is particularly poignant. You get a real sense of how worthless women and girls are.
The characters are well developed, especially the two protagonists Amina and Jenna. They are undoubtedly children, who mature a great deal yet are still so young and vulnerable. I really enjoyed the development of their relationship as sisters, the ability to look out for each other and help one another, no matter what.
This book was a real gem for me, one that I really enjoyed and was glad I picked off the shelf.
‘A beautifully tragic read filled with hope and inspiration. Heart-wrenching and emotional – a novel about survival, the power of imagination and strength of humanity when faced with adversity.’