Amaya Ellman edited the summary of Broken Shells Thursday, December 6, 2012.
Held captive in a desert cell and tortured by a revengeful, bitter associate, female soldier Freeman is facing more than isolation. Left to starve, she contemplates her loss of freedom and, as her fate becomes more certain, mortality itself.
Unexpectedly, Freeman is thrown a lifeline. She is discovered by Aref, an Iranian nomad. Disconnected from his own family, he relies on his principles to guide him, just as he tastes the sand to help him find his way through the desert.
Aref cannot predict the outcome of their struggle. He acts on instinct and with kindness. He is willing to risk his own life – the life he’s fought hard to keep – to guide a woman he knows nothing about to safety. Compassionate and empathic, Aref’s beliefs cross cultural and linguistic barriers: he doesn’t need to speak Freeman’s language to understand her pain and fear.
But, is it enough? Is Aref’s approach going to hinder his own chances of survival? Is he right to trust Freeman? Is he making a mistake by offering her his help unconditionally?