This first book in the Valley of Chaya series sets a new benchmark in Christian fiction excellence. The book is best described as an action adventure, suspense, love story. It is set in the world of human trafficking but has been written with sensitivity and care to ensure a quality read.
Life’s very simple but difficult for Ashok and Shanti, they love each other more than anything else in the world. They’re a couple of street kids living in Mumbai with high expectations of a better life tomorrow. Their lives are changed in an instant when Shanti is snatched away by strangers.
At the same time Australian teenager Charlotte Turner is preparing to embark on a long awaited trip to India. Despite a major planning setback and family difficulties Charlotte leaves for India, but with very mixed emotions.
You will fall in love with these characters and live their journey as though you were there, the story is breath taking and heart breaking but this is a book you will enjoy and remember for ever.
Read an excerpt from the book:
“Ashok loved Shanti. His eyebrows drew together as he watched Shanti play in the dirt, a piece of broken plastic, her toy. He was her brother, and it was his job to look after her and keep her safe. The responsibility weighed heavily on his ten-year-old shoulders. It had always been only the two of them. They must have had parents, but as he tried to visualize his mother’s face, no memory came to mind. Shanti depended on him for everything. Her chocolate-brown eyes mirrored her trust and lack of concern for the things he worried about. Yesterday Ashok noticed some men watching Shanti, his stomach churned at the danger she could be in. He’d heard of young girls disappearing off the streets, and he’d tried to explain to her about being careful, but she didn’t understand. Shanti was only little.
Looking at the dirt under his fingernails, he wondered what it’d be like to have smooth, clean hands like the white children he sometimes saw. He was tired, hungry, and needed to find a place for them to sleep before it got dark. He pulled the well-worn card from his pocket and looked at the words, wishing he could read them. The card was creased through the middle where he’d repeatedly folded it and pushed it into his pocket.
Shanti dropped the piece of plastic she was playing with and scurried across to him. “Ashok, are you reading the card? Can you tell me about it again?” She squatted beside him, her face alight with anticipation.
“No, Shanti. You know what it says. I have told you many times.”
“Please. It makes me feel happy.” Shanti placed her hand on his elbow.
Sighing, Ashok circled her thin shoulders with his arm. Maybe hearing the story again would take her mind off her hunger. “You remember when the man gave me this card?” Shanti nodded, and Ashok placed the card in her hand. She ran a dirty finger over the picture, and a tiny smile lifted her lips.
“The picture is Jesus holding a little lamb. The lamb is us, Shanti—we are his children. Jesus loves us. The card says Jesus will keep you in happiness, if you trust him.”
“Who is Jesus, Ashok? Tell me again who he is,” she pleaded, pawing at his skin with her fingers.
“He’s God’s Son and he knows your name, Shanti.” Ashok breathed deeply at the thought.
“Why does he love us?” Shanti whispered.
“I don’t know, he just does. You know how you trust me to look after you? Well, I trust Jesus to look after me.” Ashok shrugged, hoping his answer explained something he himself struggled to understand.
“I’m hungry. Do you think Jesus will help us find food?” She rubbed her flat, hollow stomach.
“He has so far, hasn’t he?” Doubt gnawed at Ashok’s chest and he avoided her eyes..”
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