Hinterland by Caroline Brothers

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Two boys are crossing Europe. Only fourteen and eight years old, they have nothing but the clothes on their backs and a dwindling inheritance stitched into the lining of a belt. Their goal is a future they can no longer wait for in Afghanistan, one they hope to find in faraway England.

As they travel, the older, Aryan, teaches his brother Kabir the capitals of the countries they'll pass through-a way of mapping the course in case anything should happen to separate them. Together they recite a list of cities they can't yet imagine, so as not to forget the names: Kabul-Tehran-Istanbul-Athens- Rome-Paris-London. Though their journey is filled with moments of boyish wonder and adventure, the two also confront hunger and exhaustion, cold and heat, violence and confusion, and are exploited for their labor and forced to rely on strangers who shouldn't be trusted.

Caroline Brothers first met these "lost boys" of Afghanistan as a journalist in France, in makeshift refugee camps. Her report on them made the front page of the New York Times, but she wanted to go deeper, to tell their story in human terms. Hinterland, her debut novel, raises questions about the global community's responsibilities toward these children, dispensing with journalistic remove to emerge as a work of incredible empathy, beautifully written.

Hinterland is a gripping journey of love and courage, the story of two resolute spirits not soon forgotten.


About Caroline Brothers

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Caroline Brothers was born in Australia and received her doctorate in history from University College London before becoming a foreign correspondent in Europe and Latin America. She currently lives in Paris, where she writes for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. This is her first novel.
Published August 10, 2011 by Bloomsbury USA. 257 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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There’s a Hollywood moment in Nice when a married couple from Los Angeles, Iranian-Americans, buys them clothes, dinner and tickets to Paris, but then it’s back to reality in Calais, where swarms of Africans and Middle Easterners are living in makeshift camps.

Feb 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Hinterland

The Guardian

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Hinterland by Caroline Brothers, Alys, Always by Harriet Lane, Shelter by Frances Greenslade and The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen

Feb 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Hinterland

Publishers Weekly

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This debut novel from Brothers (War and Photography: A Cultural History), a former foreign correspondent for Reuters, is a compassionate and vigorous tale of orphaned Afghan brothers, Aryan, 14, and Kabir, 8, fleeing their native land to escape Taliban atrocities.

Feb 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Hinterland

The Bookbag

You can read more book reviews and buy Hinterland by Caroline Brothers at Amazon and Waterstones.

Jan 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Hinterland

We Love This Book

Brothers not only manages to highlight their plight, but her focus on the human elements brings the characters to life and the reader will long for them to achieve their goal.

Feb 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Hinterland

The New Zealand Herald

The world champion Australian players are among those to pay their own way to Rosedale Park for… Rugby: Walsh won't be red carded Politics Winston Aldworth: Smith's chance for a sound decision Conservation Minister Nick Smith's decision to take control of the plans for tourist access from ...

Feb 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Hinterland


This compelling new novel about two orphaned brothers crossing Afghanistan will open your eyes and break your heart.

Feb 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Hinterland


After the Taliban murders their parents and older brother, Aryan, 14, and Kabir, 8, flee Afghanistan for Kabul-Tehran-Istanbul-Athens-Rome-Paris-London (Aryan makes Kabir memorize the itinerary in case they get separated).

Feb 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Hinterland

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