Salma, an Arab from a Levantine village in Lebanon, is courageous and resourceful as she copes with personal loss and exile from her home. She builds herself a new life in a provincial English city but, despite her many achievements, she cannot let go of her past. The author captures the dreariness and loneliness of her new life and contrasts this with the beauty and love that Salma experienced in her home village. Be prepared for a shock ending!
'You have to leave this place immediately', said my teacher Miss Nailah.
'Why?' I panicked.
'If you don't you will get killed.' She ran her tongue on her dry lips.
I pressed my wet face with my hands. 'Where shall I go? What will happen to my goats? ...' 'The best thing to do is to hand you over to the police and prayer that they will keep you in protective custody for ever.'