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The Secret Sky

A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


An eye-opening, heart-rending tale of love, honor and betrayal from veteran foreign news correspodent Atia Abawi

Fatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures and the Taliban to stay together. Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must-read for anyone who has lived during America's War in Afghanistan.

Perfect for fans of Patricia McCormick, Linda Sue Park, and Khaled Hosseini, this story will stay with readers for a long time to come.

* “A suspenseful, enlightening, and hopeful love story.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Riveting plot, sympathetic characters and straightforward narration studded with vivid, authentic detail: a top choice.” – Kirkus review

 “Heartbreaking and heartwarming.” – VOYA review

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 30, 2014 – Three characters take turns narrating foreign correspondent Abawi's debut, about a cross-cultural love affair that tears at a small Afghan community. Pashtun landowners and Hazara farmers maintain a respectful peace their children play together, but a "Hazara girl could never marry a Pashtun boy." Fatima dreams of a future in Kabul, where girls "can become doctors, lawyers, midwives and even artists!" After Samiullah returns home, disillusioned with teachers' cruel indoctrination at his madrassa, his childhood friendship with Fatima blossoms into love. Meanwhile, Samiullah's cousin Rashid seeks to gain favor with the local Taliban by reporting their attachment, resulting in horrific consequences for both families. Decades of tribal strife influence the present, causing some to cling to tradition, while others encourage change, like a grandmother teaching her granddaughter to read. Disturbing depictions of physical, emotional, and sexual violence against women, men, and children, both within families and between different groups, contrast with extravagant acts of courage, kindness, and sacrifice. Throughout, Fatima, Samiullah, and Rashid wrestle with what constitutes faithful living, as represented by two mullahs offering wildly different interpretations. A suspenseful, enlightening, and hopeful love story. Ages 14 up.
The Secret Sky
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Religion
  • Published: Sep 02, 2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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