Set in modern day Azerbaijan, Grace and her mother Sara start the forty-day mourning period, a tradition required for Muslim widows. Nine-year-old Grace is rendered mute by the trauma of losing her father. Retreating to her treehouse she enters a rich imaginative world where the veil between reality and her imagination becomes thinner and thinner as she meets strange and friendly creatures, each representing the stages of grief. Grace is convinced that she can find her father alive if she completes the quest in her fantasy kingdom. Meanwhile, Sara embarks on a parallel journey of coping—therapists, religion, and superstition. Finally, Sara realizes she will lose Grace unless she reveals the truth of her father’s tragic suicide.
An intimate, surrealist fable of death, separation, and reunion, CLOUDS ON LEASHES explores the real—and fantastical—aspects of death through the eyes of a young girl.