Willow Trees Don't Weep

‘A compelling narrative . . . negotiates the minefields of family, politics and religion fearlessly but with a delicate touch. ’ Janet Davey

'Willow Trees Don’t Weep conveys a longing for order in the world, yet offers an acceptance of its fragmentation. It is an insightful, compelling, and moving fifth novel from this immensely skilful writer.' WeLoveThisBook

A father sets out to save the Islamic world. A daughter sets out to save herself.

Najwa’s has nothing but hate for her father, who abandoned her when she was three years old. Now, upon her mother’s death, she cannot live on her own in a conservative society. She must find her father. Her epic journey takes her through new dangers as she is swept by a mysterious organisation to a hideout in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Her father, a medic, sets out on his travels to support a friend, but what he encounters transforms his life forever. His journal, which punctuates the novel, describes his harrowing and sometimes graceful odyssey.

Najwa has no choice, but to trace his footsteps, a search that takes her to four countries and two continents all the way to the west. She oscillates between her mother’s secularism and her father’s certainty. Changed by her quest and the heartbreaking secrets it reveals, she contemplates giving up looking for him, but her anger and resentment propel her forward. Piecing up the events that led to his departure, she begins to doubt everything. Should she seek revenge or forgive her father?