Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her - "Inshallah," God willing.
Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to the village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha - but can she dare to hope they'll come true?
Trent Reedy is the author of WORDS IN THE DUST, an Al Roker's Book Club pick on the Today Show. Born and raised in Iowa, where he taught high school English, Trent and his wife now live in Spokane, Washington. Please visit his website at www.trentreedy.com.