In her stunning debut, Morgana Gallaway delivers big with The Nightingale, a story of love and hope amid the horror of war torn Iraq. Simultaneously giving a glimpse into the daily lives of Iraqi citizens and shining a spotlight on the atrocities and inhumanity unleashed by Americans upon the detainees of war, Gallaway effortlessly weaves a tale of one young woman's courage, conviction, and tough choices as she pursues her dreams in the face of unthinkable circumstances.
Leila al-Ghani wants nothing more than to become a doctor and to be "modern" and wear the fashions of the Western world, but her role as the youngest daughter in a traditional Iraqi/Muslim family dictates a much more traditional style of dress and sooner or later an arranged marriage to a cousin she abhors. So when the opportunity arises for her to work in the field of medicine Leila does not hesitate to take the job, despite the fact that it is a job as a translator in the hospital of the American Army base. Taking great lengths to hide the true nature of her work from her father and the insurgents- at great personal risk, Leila thrives in her new role and befriends many Americans including James, a Captain with the Special Forces unit. But just as the relationship between Leila and James is heating up, so, too, is the hostility of the war and the insurgency, forcing Leila to choose where her true loyality lies.
Will she follow her dreams and betray her family? Will she decimate her new friends for the love of her father? Who can she trust? Who has already betrayed her? Will she live long enough for any of it to matter?