The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
Coles Books Summer Reads
A rich, magical new novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World - now a top ten Sunday Times bestseller.
Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. The taverna is the only place that Kostas and Defne can meet in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic and chilli peppers, creeping honeysuckle, and in the centre, growing through a cavity in the roof, a fig tree. The fig tree witnesses their hushed, happy meetings; their silent, surreptitious departures. The fig tree is there, too, when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, when the teenagers vanish.
Decades later, Kostas returns - a botanist, looking for native species - looking, really, for Defne. The two lovers return to the taverna to take a clipping from the fig tree and smuggle it into their suitcase, bound for London.
Years later, the fig tree in the garden is their daughter Ada's only knowledge of a home she has never visited, as she seeks to untangle years of secrets and silence, and find her place in the world. The Island of Missing Trees is a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World.
'One of the best writers in the world today' Hanif Kureishi
'Shafak makes a new home for us in words' Colum McCann
About the Author: Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist whose work has been translated into 55 languages. The author of 19 books, 12 of which are novels, she is a bestselling author in many countries around the world. Shafak's latest novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award; and chosen as Blackwell's Book of the Year. Her previous novel, The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by the BBC as one of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. In 2021, Shafak's The Architect's Apprentice was chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall's inaugural book club, The Reading Room.
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