This is the story of Nelofer Pazira and her family — their lives in Afghanistan, their escape to Pakistan and eventually to Canada as immigrants, and Pazira’s return many years later as part of a feature film crew. Most of the story is set during Pazira’s childhood and teenage years in Afghanistan — the years of Soviet occupation, when the author found herself involved in resistance movements fighting against the oppressive Communist regime. Only after her family’s dangerous escape to Pakistan did they learn that some of these very freedom fighters would go on to establish an even more harsh and oppressive regime after the Soviet occupation ended.
For any North American reader who wants a good grasp on the last several turbulent decades of Afghan history seen through the eyes of a sympathetic reader, this memoir will be a valuable insight. Pazira’s story is moving, although I found her style of writing a little dry and not as engaging as the story demanded. Still, I would recommend this for anyone who better wants to understand today’s Afghanistan and the roots of the conflict that are going on there now. Pazira’s personal and family story helped me to put history into a human context.