What is this about?: Esra, Miran and Isa have been kidnapped and are working for a gang, tending to the their drugs. This is the story of their escape.
What else is this about?: Child Trafficking. About finding hope where you can and holding steady until you get through it all.
Blurb: Kept by a ruthless gang, three children manage to escape from slavery. But freedom isn’t just waiting on the outside.
Separated, scared and looking after a small child, Esra will do whatever she can to reunite with her friend Miran, who was captured by the police – the police who she mustn’t trust.
Hiding in the shadows of the forest, Esra is found by a local boy, a boy with his own story. Together they will create a man out of mud. A man who will come to life and lead them through a dark labyrinth of tunnels until they finally have the courage the step above ground. Until they finally have the courage to speak their story. Until they finally have the courage to be free.
This was not an easy read for me, though that is a testament to Zana Fraillion’s writing more than anything. I was exhausted by the time I finished this book, but if a book can make your emotions run riot, perhaps that’s a good thing?
This is about child trafficking, about Esra, Miran and Isa who are trapped or kidnapped and kept tending to plants (drugs) for the Snakeskin gang. They grasp hope where they can, encouraging each other to be strong in the face of what they’re forced to do, including the awful beatings used to keep them under control. If Esra is the realist in this story, Miran is the dreamer, the one who finds jokes where he can, while little Isa just isn’t ready yet to face what’s happened to him.