From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.
When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn Middle East to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She's conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can't bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?
J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl - and a country - on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.
"Filled with political intrigue and emotional tension, Carleson’s riveting novel features a teenage refugee caught in a web of deceit and conspiracy." (
"Laila is a complex and layered character whose nuanced observations will help readers better understand the divide between American and Middle Eastern cultures. Smart, relevant, required reading." (
"This is more than just Laila’s story; rather, it is a story of context, beautifully written (by a former undercover CIA agent), and stirring in its questions and eloquent observations about our society and that of the Middle East." (