"To be the firstborn and also a female in my country is to be an outcast from your very first breath." These are the opening words of Adeela's story. It is the story of a woman who had the misfortune of being born into one of the medieval societies, that,
incredibly, still exist in the modern and interconnected world of the 21st Century. Adeela's society, however, is a primitive and backward world controlled by men. Adeela's own personal life is dominated by her father Najeeb who is both a religious extremist and a Taliban warrior.
Najeeb's entire life has one purpose: to produce as many sons as possible, all of whom will follow in his footsteps. A daughter, he says, is nothing more than an "empty useless mouth to feed." Najeeb's unquestioning mantra for all situations is the same: "It is God's will."
Adeela's mother Deeba, perpetually lost in the grey and suffocating world of depression, can provide no support at all, either for Adeela or for her younger sister, Jadwa. Adeela's two brothers, Ubaidah and Baahi, have wholeheartedly adopted their father's cruel and domineering lifestyle. Despite their extensive religious training--or perhaps because of it--her two brothers see Adeela as nothing more than a slave; and an empty receptacle for their violence and hatred.
Adeela's only support comes from her Aunt Zaafira, a woman whose courage and independent spirit is a slap in the face of the whole society. It is Aunt Zaafira who opens up a new world for Adeela, a world illuminated by freedom, education, and reason. But to reach that world, Adeela must travel a long and brutal path. It is a path filled with humiliation, emotional and sexual abuse, painful beatings, incest, and the constant threat of an "honor killing." To make matters even more incredible, these "honor killings," like all of the other male tools of dominance, has the full blessings of their society's God. It is obviously a God for men only.
When Adeela's Aunt Zaafira and her own younger sister are both forcibly removed from her life, Adeela finds herself totally alone in a merciless world. She now has only one person left to rely on: herself. That's when her trials really begin.