The Island of Missing Trees

by Elif Shafak

Rating: 5 (8 votes)

Tags: Set in Cyprus Female author

The Island of Missing Trees

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.


Read Around The World Challenge user profile avatar for Alicia
(1 year ago)
06 Mar, 2023
It follows the love story of Greek Cypriot Kostas and Turkish Cypriot Defne, their eventual migration to London, and the impact of their past and their history on their daughter Ada, whose only connection to Cyprus is the fig tree in her garden.

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Language: EN

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