“As long as you know the stars, you will never be lost.”
In Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001, Najmah, a young Afghan whose name means ‘star,’ suddenly finds herself alone when her father and older brother are conscripted by the Taliban and her mother and newborn brother are killed in an air raid. Seeking refuge and hoping to find her father and brother, Najmah begins a perilous journey through the mountains to cross the border into Pakistan. She finds her way to safety and the Persimmon Tree School in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Elaine, an American whose Islamic name is Nusrat, runs the school for Afghan refugee children in her garden in Peshawar near the Afghan border. Her husband, an Afghan doctor, has left her there for safety while he establishes a clinic in Mazaar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan.
Najmah’s father, a shepherd, always told her that the stars would guide and protect her. And Nusrat’s husband promised the stars would tell Nusrat where he was and that he was safe. As the two look at the stars through the bare branches of the persimmon tree, their fates entwine, and together they find a way home.