Growing up in a poor neighbourhood of Boston with her single mother and a disabled niece, Elsa leafs through a magazine but stops at a picture of starving refugees from Rwanda. She knows that she wants to help these people out when she is old enough. Fate guides her down the path of becoming a nurse and she eventually applies to an organization that does aid work around the world. When Elsa is called to Afghanistan post-9/11, she doesn't hesitate.
What Elsa finds in Afghanistan are gentle and kind people having their way of life taken away from the Taliban. Elsa starts work in a small clinic and befriends many locals. She becomes enamored with an American soldier and falls in love but must always be aware that the Taliban are closer than she thinks.
This book is an incredibly easy read, in part because it's an interesting story, in part because it's not the best written book in the world. I felt connected to Elsa and the friendships she made. The romance part was a little too soap opera for me and happened a bit too quickly, however the book redeemed itself by the end.
First Line: "It was the hopelessness in their eyes that held sixteen-year-old Elsa's attention."