Words in the Dust is one of those quiet, no fuss books that tend to get lost amongst the popular, well-marketed titles. If I saw this book on the shelf I would, in all honestly, be put off by the old fashioned cover and probably carry on by. But this is a heartfelt, intelligent book and I simply cannot praise it highly enough.
Words in the Dust, written by former soldier Trent Reedy, tells the story of Zulaikha, a young girl living in worn-torn Afghanistan. The Taliban may be defeated, but Zulaikha is bullied daily and shunned because of her cleft lip. Until the day the American’s arrive and offer her a surgery that will transform her life.
Words in the Dust is a rich novel that flows so beautifully, giving an insightful glimpse into a very different culture and way of life. It was heartening to see Zulaikha grow in confidence throughout the book and ultimately choose her own future. One of the aspects I loved most (and found particularly powerful), was how pro-women’s rights the book was, all the while maintaining a respectful understanding of a culture where girls and women do face a lot of limitations. To that end, the authors note at the end is also well worth a read. An excellent book for younger and older readers.
*Many thanks to Frances Lincoln Books for sending this for review*