In the foothills of a mountain range in northern Pakistan is a beautiful orchard. Swallows wheel and dive silently over the branches, and the scent of jasmine threads through the air. Pomegranates hang heavy, their skins darkening to a deep crimson. Neglected now, the trees are beginning to grow wild, their fruit left to spoil on the branches.
Many miles away, a frail young man is flung out of prison gates. Looking up, scanning the horizon for swallows in flight, he stumbles and collapses in the roadside dust. His ravaged body tells the story of fifteen years of brutality.
Just one image has held and sustained him through the dark times - the thought of the young girl who had left him dumbstruck with wonder all those years ago, whose eyes were lit up with life.
A tale of tenderness in the face of great and corrupt power, In The Orchard, The Swallows is a heartbreaking novel written in prose of exquisite stillness and beauty
About Peter HobbsSee more books from this Author
We see Saba only through the narrator’s eyes as an idealized icon, and the fablelike ending reinforces a sense of unreality that hobbles this well-intentioned but flawed effort to imaginatively enter a foreign world.Read Full Review of In the Orchard, the Swallows | See more reviews from Kirkus
Islam’s purgative for envy and hate, grown in the gardens of paradise, does some symbolic heavy lifting in Peter Hobbs’s exquisite novel, In the Orchard, the Swallows.Read Full Review of In the Orchard, the Swallows | See more reviews from Globe and Mail
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