The Night Letters by Denise Leith – Our Review
Australian doctor Sofia Russo has been caring for Afghani women in a hidden enclave of Shaahir Square for five years. Set deep in the bustling city of Kabul, this is a vibrant haven for local businesses – the cobbler, the apothecary, and the women of the district. Supported by her employer, Sofia knows she must keep her head low to stay out of the way of powerful warlords who govern the city. However, when one her patients entreats her to help find her missing young brother – potentially abducted for sex slavery – the age old practice of ‘bacha bazi’ or boy play, with the aid of Dr Jabril and the local women, Sofia, as tries to act.
Denise Leith, who has travelled extensively through Middle East and African war zones, obviously has a deep love and understanding of Afghanistan. This shows through her portrait of the strong women of Kabul, who are not painted as two-dimensional figures but as vibrant and complex women. It’s a refreshing change from the distorted image of Middle Eastern women portrayed by media by the West.
With a completely realistic feel, The Night Letters is ultimately a story of hope. Highly recommended.
Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books