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The Island of Missing Trees
The Island of Missing Trees | Elif Shafak
A rich, magical new novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World - available for pre-order now 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
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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

Vivid in setting, inventive in form, this book was a definite departure from a typical reading experience for me. The cover alone drew me to this, and then I read that a fig tree is a character so I was sold. Lost and found love, family connection, belonging, war, and nature. 🌳

Cortg Sounds great! I always love a book that‘s a bit different. 7d
Megabooks This was so good! 6d
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jlhammar
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I‘m really hoping one of these is crowned winner later today! Loved them both. #womensprize

squirrelbrain Sorrow and Bliss is my fave, but also wouldn‘t mind The Sentence or Bread… 2w
jlhammar @squirrelbrain I am a huge Louise Erdrich fan and thought The Bread was very good so wouldn't be too sad if either of those won instead. There was a lot to love (for me) about the Ozeki too. Great Circle is the only shortlisted title that didn't really do it for me. Not bad by any means, but I'll be a little disappointed if that wins over the others. 2w
squirrelbrain I didn‘t love the Ozeki but can see that it could win. I liked Great Circle when I read it, but now find it a bit bland compared to the others. 2w
See All 7 Comments
jlhammar @squirrelbrain Wow, I am kind of shocked that Ozeki won! I really liked that book, but didn't think it really had a chance. You just never know! 2w
squirrelbrain I know, it surprised me too! 2w
sarahbarnes I‘m a little surprised by the outcome today! 2w
jlhammar @sarahbarnes Right? I didn‘t see that coming. Good for Ruth though. A Tale for the Time Being is my favorite of hers. 2w
50 likes7 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
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#BookandBreakfast
My next read is delightful so far!

jlhammar One of my favorites from the Women's Prize shortlist. I was surprised just how much I enjoyed it. And that breakfast looks so good! 2w
sarahbarnes This one is up next for me too! 2w
71 likes2 comments
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Leniverse

While religions clash to have the final say, and nationalisms teach a sense of superiority and exclusiveness, superstitions on either side of the border coexist in rare harmony.

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Leniverse

People assume it's a matter of personality, the difference between optimists and pessimists. But I believe it all comes down to an inability to forget. The greater your powers of retention, the slimmer your chances of optimism.

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VRM1975
Pickpick

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Addison_Reads
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I almost filled the board for May. 😁

Maybe I'll get a blackout for June.
#BookSpinBingo #BookSpin #DoubleSpin @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Fabulous month!!! 4w
30 likes1 comment
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MegCaldwell
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Pickpick

Absolutely remarkable. Everything about this prose is lush and green and delicate and rough.

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MinnieTimperley
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Pickpick

This book is powerful in its exposure of the conflict between the Greeks and the Turkish in Cyprus. There is ingenuity with a central voice being given to a fig tree whom is able to observe human folly whilst themselves being uprooted and scarred by the machinations of men. The wider ecological disaster that looms for all of humanity casts a onimious shadow over the Cypriot conflict and it fallout on the lives of the central characters.

MinnieTimperley We experience short visits to 1970s and 1990s in Cyprus and England in 2010. There are some interesting characters, but we don't spend enough time with them to be fully drawn and realised. This is a rare comment to make, but the book would have benefitted from being longer to enable me to know and understand the characters better and make more of an emotional connection with them. (edited) 1mo
MinnieTimperley The whole way through reading, I could not help making comparisons with Richard Powers' Overstory. Knowing that Shafak shared a Booker stage with him the same year she was on the shortlist for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, made me think his work had inspired her exploring the world of trees, their ability to communicate and their importance. (edited) 1mo
LiteraryinLawrence Awesome review! 1mo
56 likes3 comments
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zezeki
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So, I treated myself with a new book and a book fan! 😅😄📚📚📚

DrexEdit Nice! 😍 1mo
67 likes1 comment
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Oryx
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Pickpick

Loved this. It's beautiful. So moving, and I learned a lot about the history of Cyprus.

I think it might just nudge ahead to be my favorite from the #womensprize shortlist.

squirrelbrain You said you thought it might be your favourite…I‘m so glad you loved it! 1mo
Oryx @squirrelbrain it is very close between this and 1mo
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BarbaraBB
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#BookReport 20/22

From Gabon to Cyprus to Toronto to Sokcho, from noir to YA, from historical to minimal. Is‘t reading rewarding and enlightening?!

TrishB Absolutely!! 1mo
Megabooks 💯💯 1mo
Suet624 It sure is. 🥰 1mo
See All 8 Comments
Cathythoughts Yes 👍🏻❤️ 1mo
Nute Yes! 1mo
sarahbarnes Couldn‘t agree more!! 1mo
Cinfhen So true!!!! 1mo
LeahBergen Pretty photo! 1mo
72 likes8 comments
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TheKidUpstairs
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Pickpick

I liked this one, it is a beautiful book, but I fell short of loving it. I don't know if it was a case of over-hype? The poetic writing was so beautiful, and there are passages that I will carry with me, but I felt the structure distracted from the story. And in many ways I felt that Kostas and Defne's story was not the most interesting one in the book. I'd read the heck out of Yusuf and Yiorgis' story (cont'd in comments under a spoiler alert)

TheKidUpstairs I wish we got a more focused look at Ada and her struggles with her grief. It seemed like she was sort of brushed aside. A teenage girl screams in a classroom like that, and it felt like it was barely addressed by her family? 1mo
BarbaraBB I didn‘t think of that myself but you are right, I would have want to know more about Ada, her grief and return to school and also Meryem whose life not really seemed to matter. 1mo
TheKidUpstairs @BarbaraBB yes, it's unfortunate that Meryem seemed more of a type than a full person. Especially because she did so well with other characters, where you only saw bits and pieces of them but they were so clearly fully realized characters off the pages (like Yusuf and Yiorgis, and even with Defne there was so much of her that you didn't see, but her humanity was still fully apparent). But Meryem, and even Ada, felt more like placeholders 1mo
66 likes3 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

This is a wonderful read about Cyprus and love. Greek and Turkish people have lived separately for ages at the island, but Kostas and Isabella know how to find each other across visible and invisible borders. The fig tree is their witness and has always been.
Quite special! Thank you for choosing this book for me Meg!

#pop22 #BookTokRecommendation

KarenUK Glad you loved it. I did too… just lovely. 1mo
sarahbarnes Excited to read this one! 1mo
Megabooks So glad you loved it! 💜💜 1mo
See All 6 Comments
BarbaraBB @Megabooks Yes! You knew I would! 🤍 1mo
squirrelbrain I loved this one too! 1mo
youneverarrived I‘m glad you enjoyed it too! Beautiful photo. 1mo
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TheKidUpstairs
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"How I lamented that I could not turn my branches into arms to embrace him, my twigs into fingers to caress him, my leaves into a thousand tongues to whisper back his words, and my trunk into a heart to take him in."

BarbaraBB Just started this! 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @BarbaraBB I'm trying to read the Women's Prize Shortlist before the winner is announced. This is my third read from the list, so far so good but I'm only about 50 pages into it. I haven't had any good no distractions reading time over the last couple days to really sink my teeth into it. What are your thoughts so far? 2mo
BarbaraBB I‘m only 50 pages in too but I like the setup and am curious to see where it goes! 2mo
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Hazel2019
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book was perfect. At first I felt some some parts were too dense and skipped over too quickly, not exploring the complex issues sufficiently. But in the end, it just felt right. It taught me a lot about Cyprus and some of its tragedies that happened in not too distant past and the pain that lives on in peoples hearts.

#WomensPrize2022

Addison_Reads Great review. I just finished this one too and loved it. 2mo
sarahbarnes Great review! Waiting on this one from the library. 2mo
Brimful I think this will win the women prize 2mo
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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

One of my favorite reads this year!

At first I wasn't sure about a book where a fig tree acted as a character, but the perspective of the tree held some of my favorite sections of this book.

This is a beautiful story of love, family, acceptance, and how decisions from the past play a role in the future. It was a true delight to read. 💚

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youneverarrived
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Tagged book was my favourite of the month and The Crimson Petal and the White my favourite of the year so far! #readingbracket2022

vivastory I hope everything is going well with you, Katie. Hopefully you can squeeze in another book or two before your new release 😉 2mo
youneverarrived @vivastory 😂😂 I‘m reading every chance I get 2mo
43 likes2 comments
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youneverarrived
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Pickpick

A beautiful book. Slow at times but so poetic and just lovely. I wouldn‘t have thought chapters from the perspective of a fig tree would be for me but it worked, they were some of my favourite chapters. Loved the atmosphere and the characters. A memorable read 💕 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

squirrelbrain I really liked this one too! 2mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I have this one on my tbr this month. How are you doing? I forgot when you are due… 2mo
Megabooks So glad you loved this too! Great review 💜 2mo
youneverarrived @squirrelbrain @Megabooks it was a great read. Been recommending it to everyone 🤍 2mo
youneverarrived @BarbaraBB I hope you enjoy it too! I‘m good thank you 😘 due next month so only a few weeks to go. 2mo
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JillR
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Pickpick

A sweet sad love story set amongst war ravaged Cyprus, which is in part narrated by a fig tree (this is not as weird as it sounds!) I enjoyed it yet for some reason it didn‘t quite capture my heart, not even that beautiful fig 👇

JillR Many elements of this to me felt like mix between a Victoria Hislop book and Richard Powers‘ The Overstory (which I absolutely loved) and I think that influenced my overall view… 2mo
squirrelbrain Definitely felt a bit Hislop-y to me too! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful cover 💙💛 2mo
See All 6 Comments
JillR @squirrelbrain I‘m glad you think that too. Having read it, as much as I enjoyed it, I‘m a little surprised it made the shortlist… 2mo
JillR @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I always fall for a good cover! 2mo
44 likes6 comments
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charl08
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Woo! I've read five of the six, and loved all five!

#WomensPrize #Shortlist2022

vivastory Do you have a favorite? 2mo
Megabooks I‘ve read all but one too! (edited) 2mo
Megabooks @vivastory the island of missing trees was my fav. I didn‘t care for great circle. 2mo
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vivastory @Megabooks Really? I haven't read Great Circle, but for some reason I'm surprised! I've heard only good things about the Shafak 2mo
Vansa @Megabooks didn't like Great Circle at all either! Meandered a lot. 2mo
charl08 @vivastory depends on the day! A bit gutted that wasn't shortlisted. 2mo
charl08 @Megabooks makes reading the shortlist before the announcement of the winner a bit easier! 😀 2mo
charl08 @Megabooks oh, I took a bit to get into it, but then loved it. I generally am interested in the stories of those early flyers though. 2mo
charl08 @vivastory I think the Shafak will win. But I generally don't predict these things well! 2mo
charl08 @Vansa oh dear. That's a long book to stick with if you didn't like it. 2mo
Megabooks @Vansa 💯💯 agree that Great Circle wandered. Last year I loved listening to long audiobooks, but that one really frustrated me. Even with excellent narration @charl08 I read a lot of reviews last year that expressed similar sentiments to yours. @vivastory I‘m not sure where you‘ll fall if you decide to tackle it. Sometimes when I don‘t care for a book, I have trouble figuring out how others might feel. 2mo
68 likes11 comments
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jlhammar
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Pickpick

My ninth read from the #womensprize longlist and one of my favorites.

Grief, war, identity, home, food, family, inherited trauma, ecology—this novel is about so much. The fig tree sections connect the human story to the natural world in such a wise and beautiful way. Really liked it.

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rachaich
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Pickpick

Well, I truly loved much of this, her way of wrapping around narrators and time. I read some large chunks which got me into the feel.
I trailed off around the last third or quarter, I'm unsure if it was the story or the lengths of time. I did find some of the aunt and Ada sections a little basic. Maybe it was supposed to be entirely teenage girl perspective at times.
However, a genuinely interesting read about Cyprus, trees and relationships.

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EJG31
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Pickpick

Elif Shafak has a way with words. This book was absolutely wonderful and full of warmth, humour and sadness. Her eloquent writing and the nuances of the story left me in awe. It's the first book of hers I've read. I hope the rest are as wonderful.

Smrloomis I still haven‘t read her but your review makes me think I should! 2mo
22 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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charl08
Pickpick

Lovely book, managing to be both full of grief and hopeful about the future. I know little or nothing about the civil war and partition of Cyprus, so hope this book will prompt me to do more reading too.

#WomensPrize #Longlist

YasmiNova Ooh stacking this one definitely! I grew up in Cyprus and have been wanting to read something by Elif Shafak for a while now, so a twofer! 😁 2mo
charl08 @YasmiNova hope you like it! I keep recommending it. 2mo
55 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Follow.my.read
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Absolutely my favorite author! And a beautiful cover for the WIN! #ElifShafak#TheIslandofMissingTrees

Beachbum Love love love this cover 🧿 2mo
61 likes1 comment
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charl08
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Like many others, this particular painted lady had journeyed all the way from North Africa, As she gave me an account of her travels, 1 listened to her with respect, knowing what resilient migrants they are, seen almost everywhere across the globe. They can fly for an impressive 2.500 miles. I have never understood why humans regard butterflies as fragile Optimists they may be, but fragile, never!

Suet624 They are truly remarkable. 2mo
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charl08
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... experts believed it was just 'paper agitation', the tension and violence that seized our land; they said it was a storm in a teacup and it would be over soon....how could there be civil war on such a pretty, picturesque island of blooming flowers and rolling hills?...These politicians and pundits seemed to assume that civilized humans could not slaughter each other, not against an idyllic backdrop of verdant hills and golden beaches

charl08 Photo via Unsplash 2mo
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jlhammar
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“Once upon a memory, at the far end of the Mediterranean Sea, there lay an island so beautiful and blue that the many travellers, pilgrims, crusaders and merchants who fell in love with it either wanted never to leave or tried to tow it with hemp ropes all the way back to their own countries.”

#FirstLineFridays

EvieBee Nice! I‘d love to read this but my holds keep lapsing. Might have to buy. 2mo
charl08 Love the butterflies 🦋 2mo
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rachaich
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Oooh, what a cover and title... I've read three of her books and they've each had such fascinating tales in them.
I waited for the paperback edition after debating whether to get on the kindle or not.
Book club for the end of the month.

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charl08
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To finish this week: #Borderlessbook club tomorrow and the shortlist for the Women's Prize is coming up on the 27th!

rockpools Gorgeous picture. And Fitzcarraldo seem to be churning them out at the moment - hope you‘re enjoying! 2mo
LeahBergen What a lovely photo! 2mo
Cathythoughts Beautiful 💫 2mo
charl08 @rockpools I love a photo with a path. I wasn't aware of F until recently, have read some good ones so will be tempted to get more! 2mo
charl08 @LeahBergen @cathythoughts Thank you. One of those places where it is impossible to take a bad picture. 2mo
71 likes5 comments
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BookishTrish
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Pickpick

I can‘t remember the last time a book I‘ve enjoyed this much took me so long to read (5 weeks). Defne is a Turkish Cypriot in love with Kostas, a Greek Cypriot, in the 1970s. Much sadness ensues. Some chapters are narrated by a fig tree - which I found twee at first. It all made sense by the end.

Mel Just finished this one today too! Loved it! 2mo
charl08 "Much sadness ensues" is a good summary. 2mo
63 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Mel
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Pickpick

Beautiful, tender, and unique…will forever see figs in a different light and will definitely be reading Elif Shafak‘s backlist now.
#cyprus #womensprize2022

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charl08
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Towards midnight, I picked up an odd sound. Alarmed, I tensed. But it turned out it was my old friend the hawthorn tree, a native species, a gentle hermaphrodite, sending signals through roots and fungi, asking how I was doing. It touched me, his/her kindness, the sheer simplicity of it. For kindness always is - direct, naive, effortless. Under and above the ground, we trees communicate all the time.

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charl08

When the night kissed your skin, as it always did, you could smell the jasmine on its breath. The moon, here closer to earth hung bright and gentle over the rooftops, casting a vivid glow the narrow alleys and cobblestoned streets. And yet shadows found a way to creep through the light. Whispers of distrust and conspiracy rippled in the dark. For the island was riven into two pieces-the north and the south.

#WomensPrize #Longlist

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ClairesReads
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Pickpick

The Island of Missing Trees hits a lot of my fave things to read about in novels; history, inherited trauma, complex relationships, and secrets. It‘s not surprising then that I really enjoyed this. Shafak explores the complex historical context of the 1974 coup/civil war in Cyprus with real humanity. The conceit of the magically realist fig tree narrator was interesting but perhaps a splash overdone.

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Brimful
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Pickpick

I predict this book will win the women‘s prize. It‘s not a perfect book - at times the writing was clunky and I was not always persuaded by Ada. But this book is so timely. Its themes of love in a time of war and it‘s tender portrayal of the trauma of war and the terrible cost paid by ordinary people could not be more powerfully relevant

charl08 Interesting! I'm still reading this one, but can see it's had plenty of praise here on Litsy. I'm hoping this one gets some attention in the shortlist. 3mo
25 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Brimful
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Love is the bold affirmation of hope. You don‘t embrace hope when death and destruction are in command. You don‘t put on your best dress and tuck a flower in your hair when you are surrounded by ruins and shards. You don‘t lose your heart at a time when hearts are supposed to remain sealed, especially for those who are not of your religion, not of your language, not of your blood.

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Cinfhen
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Mehso-so

#UnpopularOpinion While this book started out very strong, by the midway point it became a bit too romance-y. And as much as I loved the POV from the fig tree, it became a bit too MUCH when we heard from the 🦜, 🐝, 🐭 and 🐜. I‘m glad I read this book but it didn‘t live up to my expectations. #CoverCrush ♥️🥰

squirrelbrain That‘s a shame; I really liked this one. 3mo
KristiAhlers @squirrelbrain I did too. In fact that was a once sitting read for me. 3mo
KristiAhlers Oh I‘m sorry you didn‘t enjoy it. Funny how a book can resonate with one reader and another it‘s just ok. But I can appreciate the reasons why you felt the way you did. I think this is why this was a good book club read. A lot to discuss and compare. 3mo
See All 9 Comments
squirrelbrain @KristiAhlers , Cindy - I thought that I *wouldn‘t* really like it (I was sent an ARC to read) but ended up the opposite. 3mo
Cinfhen I thought I was going to love this book @squirrelbrain @KristiAhlers because I was grabbed from the start with the gorgeous prose and the imagery but towards the middle when they reunite I started to lose interest. I did find the civil war between the Turks & Greeks fascinating. I wish we only heard from the fig tree and she found a different way to fact dump. I just didn‘t like the concept of a mouse who reads history books sharing info 😉 3mo
squirrelbrain Have you read this one Cindy? I really like Hislop‘s books as they give you quite a bit of history too. 3mo
Cinfhen That one sounds good @squirrelbrain #Stacked 3mo
charl08 I like your cover better than mine! 3mo
Cinfhen I love this cover too @charl08 3mo
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Karons1
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Pickpick

Wonderful wonderful book 📖 stunning 🤩 all beautifully blended together the stories within a story . Loved 🥰 it , will be one of my favourite books of the year If not THE favour !

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Karons1
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#favouritebooksof2022sofar I‘m still devouring the island of missing trees 🌲 it is a stunning book 📖 a 5star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟read for me , just don‘t want it to end ; isn‘t it funny when you love a book 📖 so much you slow down not wanting it to end . The story of what happened to Yusuf and Yiorgos is heart breaking ; do love a story within a story 🥰

Soubhiville I love that all these covers are botanical. 💚🌿 3mo
Karons1 They are aren‘t they ? 😂and I hadn‘t even noticed ! 3mo
27 likes2 comments
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Karons1
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Now this is a fabulous book 📖 🤩candle , book 📖 hot deep bath 🛀 hot chocolate these little things in life are not so little in a time of war & heartbreak 💔 #theislandofmissingtrees #longlistedwomensprizeforfiction #timetoread #luckytoliveinpeace&freedom

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Cinfhen
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“To immigrants and exiles everywhere, the uprooted, the re-rooted, the rootless,
And to the trees we left behind, rooted in our memories.” Love this dedication 💙💛 💙What a timely message 🌻🌻

Cathythoughts Beautiful Cindy ❤️♥️ 4mo
Magpiegem This is sad and lovely 💙 💛 4mo
TheBookHippie 💙🇺🇦💛 4mo
See All 15 Comments
BarbaraBB Gorgeous quote 🇺🇦 4mo
LeeRHarry Love this 💕 4mo
Cinfhen It‘s speaks volumes in such a quiet manner ~ I haven‘t gotten to far into the book but I‘m hoping it‘s going to be just as beautiful @BarbaraBB @LeeRHarry 4mo
LeeRHarry @Cinfhen I have heard SO many good things - I have it high up on my TBR. 4mo
BarbaraBB Me too, I know @Megabooks loved it ! 4mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB this was 5⭐️ for me. Really fantastic book! 3mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I‘ll get to it soon! I hope Cindy loved it too! 3mo
Karons1 Beautiful 💙💛Ukraine , Syria ❤️🤍🖤Afghanistan 🖤❤️💚 3mo
Cinfhen I feel like I need to take my time with this book so I put it aside for a few days @Karons1 @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @LeeRHarry but I‘m looking forward to picking it back up 💙💛💙💛💙💛 3mo
Cinfhen And yes @Karons1 to all the refugees 🌈🌈🌈🌈 3mo
Megabooks I wouldn‘t call this a vacation read so maybe the wrong time??? 3mo
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Evita
Pickpick

4 out of 5. Predictable story but oh such beautiful writing! 😍

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AnneCecilie
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Pickpick

In the present Ada is living in London with her dead. They are both grieving the loss of a mother/ wife. In the past we get their love story starting in Cyprus in 1974 in the midst of the civil war. Kostas‘ and Defne‘s families are on different sides. The tavern The Happy Fig becomes a hiding place and we also get the story of the owners Yusuf and Yiorgos.

A book about love, family, and what happens with friendship and neighbors during a war.

AnneCecilie With everything that is happening (Ukraine) the consequences of war hit hard. How neighbors will turn each other in because they are on the wrong side, how the island got divided in two. 4mo
AnneCecilie And a big part of the story is told by a fig tree. I liked that. Imagine what the trees could tell us if they could talk. 4mo
Suet624 ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
See All 6 Comments
BarbaraBB I have this one on my shelves. I must get to it soon. Wonderful review. 4mo
Cinfhen I love the idea of a fig tree as narrator 4mo
charl08 I've finally got to this one- enjoying it. 3mo
73 likes6 comments
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Karons1
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Starting this morning heard great things about this especially from savage reads book tube on YouTube and all over Instagram so fingers crossed 🤞 😀

marleed I love love love this book. It is one that will always remain on my 5* bookshelf! 4mo
Karons1 🥰🥰 3mo
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AnneCecilie
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many may try, but no one does optimism better than butterflies.

[maybe that‘s way I love them so much]

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Ellohcin
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28 likes1 stack add
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peacegypsy
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this wholeheartedly, probably just as much for the Mediterranean climate as anything. This year has proven the year of interesting narrators; first a book, now a fig tree. I loved the relationship that eventually develops between aunt and niece, father and daughter. Just a good one to get lost in.

marleed Loved, loved, loved this! 4mo
46 likes1 comment