In the city of Kabul, Afghanistan there were constant explosions, little food, and little freedom. In 1974 Russia invaded Afghanistan and, the Russian and Taliban armies were in a fierce struggle for the rule of the country. The people who lived in Afghanistan at this time were in constant danger from missiles and shrapnel from these missiles. Laila’s family was caught in the middle of this war, as were all of their neighbors. Babbi, Mammy and Laila were packing their home to leave. Mammy had finally agreed to leave their home since both her sons had been killed. Laila insisted that her father let her carry a heavy box out to the car. As she carried the box out to continue packing the car, a missile destroys Laila’s house. Her parents are killed, and Laila is injured.
"The novel begins in 1974, as Soviet-backed communists are ruling the country under a dictatorship. As the story progresses, so too does the power of the Taliban, who fight the Russians and eventually push them out of the country."