Rafik, the youngest character from Silent Heroes is forced to leave his home village of Nauzad, alone. Somehow during his trip, no spoilers here, he ends up at Camp Bastion, then is forced to wonder through the Afghan desert and he even takes a drive in the US Marine’s Oshkosh vehicle, a short moment of respiro before his life is endangered again.
We are now approaching the emotional ending of Silent Heroes.
‘Conde immediately took in the mountain sight in front of them, the one shooting towards the sky. There was only one thing higher, the cerulean sky above.’Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg
‘If mountains could, Kent asked himself, would they choose to close their slopes and crush the intruders coming in with wicked thoughts?’Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg
The Hindu Kush mountains, a natural maze of valleys and peaks blocking all satellite signals are the preferred hiding-spot for the Taliban, their secret lair. Very few locals know how to find their way around.
‘Marcos noticed the zig-zagged pattern of her approach as she followed a barely visible path. For the untrained eye, it looked like nothing, a maze of greenery and rocks. But Marcos saw the trail, wider where the shrubs were missing and the rain had softened the soil, narrower in the rocky passes. In places, it looked like a disturbance in the dirt, like a child had sketched a line with a stick. Nevertheless, it leads upwards, towards the Taliban camp.
As if to mock them, a spring ran on their right side, rushing down the slope, singing and jumping from rock to rock. The steeper the slope, the more cheerful the stream whooshed.’Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg
‘A skinny figure detached itself from the tight group approaching the Marines, his eyes dancing on a dirty face, streaked with dust and blood.
‘You came, you came!’ it chanted then hugged each one of them not minding their weapons poking his ribs. ‘I knew you will come,’ the boy said then turned towards the small crowd in an out-pour of words and gestures.
The bouncy body, the cheerful eyes?’Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg
‘From between the trees, a skinny Afghan boy bounced more than ran down the path and he didn’t stop until he reached the girl. He jumped around her, waving his arms up and down, not sparing any cheer. His cheeks were strung with tears, yet his mouth showed all his teeth in a wide grin.’Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg
Has Rafik found his people’s peace? Is the young boy finally reunited with his small family – whatever was left from it after the Taliban’s attack on their village?
I wished I could hold his hand, my youngest character, but I could not. Life and war threw insurmountable challenges at him. He was asked to perform missions that put him in life-threatening situations. During his journey he was exposed to an IED field, got lost in the desert and ended in the Hindu Kush Mountains.
But this is war. This is life during wartime. And Rafik made it to the last chapter.
Will his heartwarming nature and willingness to help be something you will take with you when you close the book? I hope so.
I hope that Rafik’s long journey culminating with the Hindu Kush Mountains spiked your interest. You can BUY Silent Heroes from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Australia, Amazon Canada, or Amazon Worldwide: link here to your preferred Amazon website.