Island of Missing Trees, The

Shafak, Elif

  9 Reviews

Hidden beneath the tree that grows through the roof of The Happy Fig taverna, teenagers Kosta and Defne happily ignore the social prohibitions of their respective Greek and Turkish communities, until Civil war breaks out, in 1974.

Reunited decades later, they migrate to London to fashion a new life, but for their daughter Ada, the toll of intergenerational trauma demands answers from the past.

Lyrical, haunting and thought-provoking, this is the story of Cyprus' tumultuous history traced through the lives of a single family and revealing the devastation to its people and the natural world.



All but one really enjoyed this book, especially the quality of the writing. A truly beautiful story.
NAP 005
Enjoyed by the group. Interesting read & lots of discussion. Our memories of Cyprus in the 70s were vague. Great use of concepts from the natural world including the personification of a fig tree.
CHCH 563
Some loved it and gave it a high rating, while others struggled to get into it from the tree side of things!
WELL 194
Everyone enjoyed this book. It prompted quite a discussion about conflicts where people divided by culture/history share the same homeland.
THAM 005
The group was 50/50 split on whether the narration choice to have the fig tree's perspective worked or not. Some found the fig tree's chapters turned them off an otherwise compelling book; others loved the tree as a narrator.
AUCK 449
We loved this book. Great story, well-written. The history of Cyprus was so interesting.
AUCK 422
We felt that this book was prose driven rather than plot driven. But the setting in Cyprus in 1974 we found very interesting, as somehow the history of this island has not really impacted on us in NZ.
AUCK 218
The majority liked or loved this book.
Overall we enjoyed this book and several of us will search for other titles by the author. It revived memories about the Cyprus conflict and it was so good to understand more. We liked the mixture of history and story, the fictionalising of actual events. Some loved the idea of the fig, others not so much.