by Helen Benedict
Nineteen-year-old Kate Brady joined the army to bring honor to her family and democracy to the Middle East. Instead, she finds herself in a forgotten corner of the Iraq desert in 2003, guarding a makeshift American prison. There, Kate meets Naema Jassim, an Iraqi medical student whose father and little brother have been detained in the camp.
Kate and Naema promise to help each other, but the strain of the war proves too divisive. Like any soldier, Kate must face the daily threats of combat duty, but as a woman, she is in equal danger from the predatory men in her unit. Naema suffers bombs, starvation, and the loss of her home and family. As the two women struggle to survive and hold on to the people they love, each comes to have a drastic and unforeseeable effect on the other's life.
Culled from real stories of female soldiers and Iraqis, Sand Queen offers a story of hope, courage and struggle from the rare perspective of women at war.
Sand Queen was an amazing story, full of emotion. Full of sadness. I honestly didn't see much hope in the book at all, but I can't say that I'm sorry I read it. Most of us have no clue what goes on with our soldiers when they are deployed and Sand Queen really put a face to those soldiers for me. And also to the Iraqi people; who we normally don't really give a thought too. Helen wrote an amazing book that goes beyond a good story. Sand Queen is well worth the price. Buy it. Read it.
Thanks to PTA for offering me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!