This book is about Afghanistan, it’s people and their truths. It’s never easy to talk about a country decimated by war and various vested interests which have given rise to the Taliban. So when Afghan American author and paediatrician, Nadia Hashimi, writes, you sit up and take notice. She has authored several books on Afghans; but in this recent release, she speaks about the trying and traumatic life of a person escaping death and war. The first half of the book, shows the protagonist Sitara, as a ten year old surviving the military coup against the Afghan government that happened in 1978 Kabul. She knows her family is dead and with the help of a palace guard Shair, she lands up with Antonia, an American embassy worker, who helps her escape from Kabul to the United States. The story then fast forwards to 2008 in the second half, where Sitara has a new name and is a practising onco-surgeon in NYC. However, after so many years, when a chance encounter happens with Shair who is now her patient, it brings back the pent up rage, hidden grief and all the unspeakable traumas of the past. She now has to navigate her present by acknowledging her desire to reclaim her family and heritage, which leads her back to Kabul.

The author, through Sitara, paints a moving picture about survivors guilt. The emotional turmoil of it can be seen in every aspect of her life. The book depicts the vibrant culture of the 1970s Afghanistan which is heartwarming. But it’s gut wrenching to think of the present day grim situation. The world has watched in silence as a beautiful country stands ruined, and it’s convivial people wronged.


Author: theshinydiaries

Being authentic; one day at a time!

2 thoughts on “SPARKS LIKE STARS”

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