As the title says, this story is about Parvana’s journey. It is the 2nd book in the trilogy, the 1st being ‘The Breadwinner.’
The story continues from the 1st book. Parvana’s mother, sister-Nooria, and brother had left for Mazar-e-Sharif for Nooria’s wedding but never returned. Parvana and her father start a journey in pursuit of the search for the rest of their family. The father-daughter duo is distraught after the news that the Taliban had attacked Mazar-e-Sharif. Anxious and eager, they travel long distances by foot for days together, searching for the family with no food or water. Unfortunately, they find no success. The father’s health deteriorates, and one day he passes away due to poor health and fatigue.
Now Parvana is left alone in the world. Parvana gets temporary refuge with a family, but once she receives the news that she may soon be taken away by the Taliban, she decides to escape and venture out alone in search of her mother and siblings.
With this starts a long, arduous journey that Parvana undertakes in search of her loved ones. The rocky mountains, hills, valleys, and streams become witnesses to the hardships that this young girl faces. Despite the unavailability of basic necessities – food, water, and clothing, she never lets her hopes die and travels relentlessly. In her journey, she is joined by a one-legged boy, a young girl, and a baby, who, like her, have been victims of the war. The children decide to travel together. During the course, they face many difficulties like hunger, sickness, fatigue, thirst, the threat of attack, landmines, and many more. Such dire circumstances make the kids very resourceful, and they figure out ways and means of survival in a hostile environment until they finally reach the refugee camp.
This book is a reminder that people become what their circumstances make them. Onerous situations, like those faced by people in war-affected countries, can push people to extremes and sometimes bring out the best and worst in them.
This heart-touching book leaves the reader pondering the uncertainties in Parvana’s life and what would happen next. Will she ever be able to escape and find a better world for herself – one that she has always dreamed of?
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