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?
Fadia Faqir is a writer of immense strength and ambition. In her fourth novel she casts her imagination far and wide through time and across continents to help us understand global tensions and explore the horrors and solace of our times. She explores the ways the world’s tragedies shape one another, how people try to avoid being crushed by conflicts, whether public or personal, find beauty among the rubble and assert their humanity.
Reviews and Endorsements
“A compelling narrative ... negotiates the minefield of family, politics and religion fearlessly but with a delicate touch.” (Janet Davey, on Willow Trees Don’t Weep)
“This is a beautifully touching novel that takes us beyond the news bulletins and knee jerk reactions, creating an excellent read while revealing special rewards for the open-minded ... Fadia Faqir gifts us with an entrancing novel that not only crosses continents but also cultures and ideas.” (Bookbag, on Willow Trees Don’t Weep)
“Willow Trees Don’t Weep conveys a longing for order in the world, yet offers an acceptance of its fragmentation. It is insightful, compelling, and moving fifth novel from this immensely skilful writer.” (WeLoveThisBook.com, on Willow Trees Don’t Weep)