Eight years ago, seasoned photojournalist Annie Hawkins Green barely survived a Taliban ambush that left her military escort dead and a young Afghan girl dying in her arms. Since then, she has managed to suppress her memories of that brutal day - until she returns to Afghanistan to teach a photography workshop at the secondary school for girls. As the Taliban gain prominence in the once peaceful region, Annie’s nightmares from her last time in-country come roaring back with a vengeance. But are they just dreams? The unshakeable feeling of a grim, watchful presence makes Annie think otherwise.
As Annie struggles with her nightmares, more trouble brews with the suspicion that a friend from the school's teenage daughter is sneaking away at night to meet her shadowy boyfriend. Meanwhile, Annie’s own daughter wages war with her father and stepmother back home, feeding Annie’s all-consuming mom-guilt. Her only comfort, a poetry-writing U.S. Naval officer who saved her life all those years ago, is now at the other end of a satellite phone 7,000 miles away. How can he possibly keep her safe? How can anyone?
A former English professor, Jeannée Sacken is a Shorewood-based photojournalist who travels the world documenting the lives of women and children. She serves as President of the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library