This novel contains two stories that intersect toward the end of the book. The first story is a realistic fiction account of Nya, and chronicles her life in Southern Sudan and her daily trek to get water for her family. The inconvenience and illness that comes with this unpurified water prevents girls in the Nuer tribe community like Nya from going to school and living a healthy life.
The second story is a true account of Salva Dut, a young Sudanese boy who loses most of his family, flees his home during the civil war in the mid-1980s, and ends up in America. He eventually returns to Southern Sudan to drill water wells for his tribe, the Dinka, as well as others.
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