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Review: The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

This is a great read by the Turkish writer, Elif Shafak.

The story is set in the island of Cyprus and begins with the partition of the country in 1974 between Greece & Turkey with disastrous consequences for the people & the island. It tells the story of Defne & Kostas, two young lovers cruelly impacted by the conflict. Kostas is forced into exile. 

The third narrator of the story is a fig tree, growing in the local tavern. As a literary device it works as it is ideally placed to observe the progress of partition, its disastrous effects on the local people, the upheaval of their lives, sending many into exile. Kostas brings a sapling of the tree with him to England where it successfully takes root and continues the narrative. 

An absorbing read of modern history, folklore, nature and people. The author’s previous novel ‘10 Minutes, 38 Seconds in this Strange World’ was a bestseller in 2019, when it was nominated for the booker prize. 

You can find The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak here at Midland Books.

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