War in Europe is imminent and Ella (Kini) Maillart and her friend Christina have different reasons for wanting to escape.
Kini, veteran writer, traveller and ethnologist, looks to the East for an antidote to Europe’s madness, for a clue to ‘the secret of harmonious living’. Christina, convalescing after months of treatment for drug addiction, sees there the promise of freedom, a cure of a very personal kind. Impulsively they agree to leave Europe together: ‘until “it” happened we must pursue our strife because we felt it less futile than any other activity’. They set off in Christina’s Ford for Afghanistan on a route that takes them through Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Iran; for six months they take what they can from the exhilaration of travel, the stimulation of unfamiliar peoples and cultures. But Christina has carried her suffering with her; within weeks she has succumbed once more to her addiction; always her despair and her dependence threaten their uneasy quest for harmony.
Out of print since 1947, this is a poignant, deeply personal travel book a courageous account of a troubling friendship and a remarkable journey.”