As America prepares to draw down its forces in Afghanistan, this story of survival and hope from a voice of the country's most oppressed group could not be more timely. Born to the second of her father's seven wives in rural Afghanistan, Fawzia Koofi's mother—who had hoped for a son—left her to die in the sun after birth. But despite a childhood of abuse and deprivation in a notoriously sexist society, she rose above her fate to become the first female Speaker of Parliament. Along the way, she faced the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and numerous attempts on her life. Here, she shares her amazing story, punctuated by a series of poignant letters she wrote to her two daughters before each political trip—letters describing the future and freedoms she dreamed of for them and all their countrywomen. This eloquent memoir pleads for the world to recognize the politically devastating consequences if a frustrated American military relinquishes the country to the Taliban, undoing all the fragile progress of recent years.