‘Everyone is born with their own story, whether they recognise it or not, and this story will support and carry them through life.’ This is what Hafiz, a teenage Syrian refugee in Brighton, explains to classmate Stevie after they skive off school together. Each a misfit in their own way, they bond over their respective life traumas and struggles, and an unlikely friendship is formed.
Author Siobhan Curham’s inspiration for this novel came from a chance meeting with a storyteller on a beach in the United Arab Emirates. The storyteller explained the belief, held by the Berber people, that we all hold our own story within ourselves. The plot unfolds around this beautiful premise of searching for and carving your own path in a troubled world. Split between the voices of the two protagonists of Stevie and Hafiz, the story covers topical and important issues like mental health, the experiences of refugees and teenage insecurities, all while championing good morals, ethics and a healthy curiosity for life. This is a tender novel that asserts the fact that you never know what’s going on in someone’s personal life. Ultimately though, it’s about the friendship between Stevie and Hafiz’s and how they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.
Siobhan Curham is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and coach who recently was the editorial consultant on youtube superstar Zoella’s book, Girl Online.