The slide opened and I heard a gentle, kind voice: ""What is your confession, my child?"" I was stufRead Review
In the Sea There are Crocodiles
One night before putting him to bed, Enaiatollah’s mother tells him three things: don’t use drugs, don’t use weapons, don’t steal. The next day he wakes up to find she isn’t there. Ten-year-old Enaiatollah is left alone in Pakistan to fend for himself.
In a book that takes a true story and shapes it into a beautiful piece of fiction, Italian novelist Fabio Geda describes Enaiatollah’s remarkable five-year journey from Afghanistan to Italy where he finally managed to claim political asylum aged fifteen. His ordeal took him through Iran, Turkey and Greece, working on building sites in order to pay people-traffickers, and enduring the physical misery of dangerous border crossings squeezed into the false bottoms of lorries or trekking across inhospitable mountains. A series of almost implausible strokes of fortune enabled him to get to Turin, find help from an Italian family and meet Fabio Geda, with whom he became friends.
The result of their friendship is this unique book in which Enaiatollah’s engaging, moving voice is brilliantly captured by Geda’s subtly simple storytelling. In Geda’s hands, Enaiatollah’s journey becomes a universal story of stoicism in the face of fear, and the search for a place where life is liveable.
Enaiatollah Akbari was only ten years old when his mother took him on a sudden, secret journey from their village in Afghanistan, to the city of Quetta in Pakistan. When he awoke alone in a foreign city Enaiatollah realized that the advice his mother gave him - not to use drugs, or weapons, or to steal from others, was her way of saying goodbye.
'In the sea there are crocodiles' is the true story of Enaiatollah's survival as a child refugee. Although forced to endure terrible hardship during the five years that it takes him to reach freedom in Italy, Enaiatollah's story is not depressing, instead I found his positive attitude and determination to seek a better life, inspirational.
In the Introduction to this book the Italian author explains that the book is a fictionalised account of a true story, and yet, as I read his story, I felt as though I was listening to Enaiatollah chatting to me, so the author has captured his voice very well.
If you enjoy exploring other cultures through the covers of a book, then I’m sure you will also relish meeting this fearless young refugee, and will be amazed by his resilience in overcoming such incredible adversity.