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The Island of Missing Trees

Elif Shafak
2021, 320 p.

It is 1974 and the island of Cyprus and its capital Nicosia are divided into a Turkish and a Greek part. The situation is tense. And in these circumstances a Greek Christian boy and a Turkish, Muslim girl meet and fall in love. Romeo and Juliet revisited? It is an impossible situation, people watch each other all the time. But there is one place in Nicosia which is an oasis in this hostile environment. In the Happy Fig inn they find stolen moments of sanctuary, guarded by its owners and by the fig tree in the centre of the restaurant which has stood there for over 80 years. It is a place where they can share their dreams of a better world, until war breaks out, causing them to flee. Decades later, in London, their teenage daughter struggles to find out where she belongs. And gradually we learn what happened all those years ago. A story of infinite tenderness between lovers and towards their daughter.


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