Survival is hard in a land where no woman can live alone
Layla is just thirteen when the men with the beards and guns burn down her beloved father’s school and begin to terrorise the Swat valley region of Pakistan.
She has to flee, exchanging the tranquil beauty of the Himalayas for the squalor of a camp for refugees from the Taliban near Peshawar. With her life torn apart by tragedy, Layla must choose between the old fashioned way of life with her family — or a journey into independence which could threaten her very survival.
Trying to find out what lies behind mysterious deaths at the camp is foreign correspondent Ellen Thomas. As a strong woman in a man’s world, Ellen is used to risking her life to uncover the truth. United by the gentle schoolteacher who had risked his life to save books, the paths of Layla and Ellen collide in a common cause.