'A powerful portrait of a family . . . shares themes with Ian McEwan's Atonement and Michael Frayn's Spies, and can hold its head high in such singular company' Sunday Times
'It was 1979 and the sun was everywhere. Tripoli lay brilliant and still beneath it.'
Nine-year-old Suleiman is just awakening to the wider world, beyond the games on the hot pavement outside his home and beyond the loving embrace of his parents. He becomes the man of the house when his father goes away on business - but then he sees his father, standing in the market square in a pair of dark glasses. Suddenly the wider world becomes a frightening place where parents lie and questions go unanswered.
In his father's worrying absence, Suleiman turns to his mother, who, under the cover of night, entrusts him with the secret story of her childhood. And, as lies and fears intensify, it feels as if the walls of Suleiman's home will break with the secrets held within.
'Matar writes beautifully . . . He is a nuanced observer with a gift for conveying both absurdity and raw emotion' Guardian
'What emerges from this moving and graceful novel is the insistence that memories of love will survive the country of men' Independent