The Island of Missing Trees
by Elif Shafak
Books > Staff Picks
It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided Cypus, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the leaves of a fig tree growing through the roof of the tavern. The tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings and will be there when the war breaks out and the teenagers vanish.
Decades later in north London, sixteen-year-old Ada Kazantzakis has never visited the island where her parents were born. She seeks to untangle years of secrets, separation and silence, but the only connection she has to the land of her ancestors is a Ficus Carica growing in the back garden of their home.