The Island of Missing Trees

Another lyrical masterpiece by Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Tree was not my favorite read of the Shafak books.

The story she narrates is one that tugs at the heartstrings yet falls a little short of the build-up she so usually makes. It does not wait for the reader to cover the truth as the story processes. It tells them it.

The story starts in Cyprus in 1974, an island was torn between religion and love. Two teenagers from opposite sides of A land divided by war rendezvous at a tavern where a Fig Tree. Kostas, a Greek and Christian boy falls in love with Defne, Muslim and a Turkish girl. They meet in hiding, they fall in love in hiding, the only people privy to their affair are the owners of the Tavern, and the Fig Tree herself.

The story moves back and forth, a few laters, in London in the 2010s, Ada, their daughter and back in the 1970s with the war-torn lovers. A lot of the story is eloquently narrated by the Fig Tree, personified with her own love and her own history and past and how a tree managed to come to London all the way from Cyprus.

The story moves you in ways you don’t expect yourself to . You feel the love that Defne and Kosta felt for each other, the fear that they help in a war-torn land and the painful yet silent suffering of their daughter years later in a country where she has been removed from her painful past.

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