When her British and American-educated parents' return to Afghanistan is cut short by a terrible attack, 14-year-old Yasmine is sent to Kandahar for safety. Instead, the driver abandons her and her friend Tamanna along the way, and they must travel on their own through Taliban-controlled mountains. Sometimes the story focuses on Yasmine, and sometimes on Tamanna, a bright but uneducated village girl with a limp inflicted by a drunken uncle whose gambling debts are to be paid by her marriage. Toward the end of their journey, the two encounter Tamanna's twin brother, stolen years earlier and now a suicide bomber. Tamanna is shot, and Yasmine is left alone in Afghanistan, with no memory even of her own identity. Eventually she ends up in Pakistan. Though the survival story ends with the appearance of her grandfather and the return of some memories, the author provides a postscript imagining her characters' more positive futures. In spite of unrelenting violence, along with grinding poverty, restrictive customs, and the horrors of war, what shines through this sad narrative is the love Afghans have for their country.