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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

A rich, magical new audiobook from the Booker shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World.

Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. The taverna is the only place that Kostas and Defne can meet in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic and chilli peppers, creeping honeysuckle, and in the centre, growing through a cavity in the roof, a fig tree. The fig tree witnesses their hushed, happy meetings; their silent, surreptitious departures. The fig tree is there, too, when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns - a botanist, looking for native species - looking, really, for Defne. The two lovers return to the taverna to take a clipping from the fig tree and smuggle it into their suitcase, bound for London. Years later, the fig tree in the garden is their daughter Ada's only knowledge of a home she has never visited, as she seeks to untangle years of secrets and silence, and find her place in the world.

The Island of Missing Trees is a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World.

©2021 Elif Shafak (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"One of the best writers in the world today." (Hanif Kureishi)

"Shafak makes a new home for us in words." (Colum McCann) 

What listeners say about The Island of Missing Trees

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Beautiful heartwarming story. Great narration.

I love Elif Shafak's writing & the emotional ride one goes through by reading her work.

The narration is perfect.

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  • Elena
  • 09-10-21

Amazing Audiobook!

Wonderful and magical amazing book the narration was so so good i recommend this book with all of my heart i love all books from Elif Shafak

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-09-21

Life

A beautiful story of love and life - a different perspective - tree given personality

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  • Daniel
  • 12-08-21

Rooted in heartstrings

listened from start to finish without wanting it to end. It enchanted my mind cover to cover

4 people found this helpful

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  • JillM
  • 22-08-21

Wanted to enjoy…

But it was such a non -event. It was a struggle even to finish it. I really didn’t care. It was so predictable. The only engaging character was the Aunt. The narrators tried their best, but I just couldn’t feel the love. Very disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-08-21

Ill-judged, disdainful choice of accent

A beautiful book, spoiled for me by the performance. The book is all about identity and more specifically about Cypriot identity. So, why does the Greek-Cypriot speak English with the accent of someone from a different country--Greece (mainland)? The accents are entirely different. (It's like having an Irishman or American speak French with the accent of an English public-schoolboy.) In my view, it's disdainful not to use minimum effort to find this out, or (perhaps having found this out) not to care. Another reviewer has written about Turkish-Cypriot accents, so no comment on those.
(I also note that Elif has chosen to call the characters Greek or Turkish, rather than Greek-Cypriot or Turkish-Cypriot, but that's for other discussion.)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-08-21

Great Performance- Great Story

Wonderful performances by the narrators, especially the younger voice. So versatile with so many accents and characters.

Also the story really touched me. Constant search for identity at this day and age, is ro relevant and fresh at the same time. Highly recommend this audiobook, if you want to indulge yourself in a beautiful human story!

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  • idyll
  • 16-08-21

Narrators are horrible

I’m sorry to leave such a bad review but the narrators completely ruined my experience with this book. Especially the one who narrated the fig tree- her accent was so awful that I kept missing some words and not understanding what she meant (and I’m half Turkish half Greek). Her pronunciations were almost always wrong and there were weird silences after some sentences which really messed up with my concentration. What was that about?
The other narrator was also poor. She was too upbeat and hyper most of the time which doesn’t suit this story. And her Turkish accent is so funny and again-completely wrong. The way that she “interpreted” Meryem’s or Defne’s voices are so wrong that I can’t honestly think of a reason why she uses that particular voice. When doing accents please either choose people who actually know and/or use that accent or don’t use any accent at all. Otherwise it completely ruins the book for people from that cultures. I listen to audiobooks all the time and most of the time I really like them. But this one was horrible. I mean the way they pronounced Turkish words really made it unlistenable for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vichy
  • 03-10-21

Shafak brings as usual a magical touch to history

I felt this was an outstanding vocal performance from the two narrators. I really couldn't wait to curl up and surrender myself to their story-telling. I was so immersed in the story, that it seemed to end far too soon.
The evocation of the beauty of Cyprus is superb. Shafak so often writes of the chaos and bustle of Istanbul, but here she has narrative space to seduce the reader with the colours and voices of nature: trees; bats; songbirds.
It's a tale of generational trauma, reconciliation and rebirth. Simply beautiful.

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  • unhappy customer
  • 02-10-21

Elif has done it again brilliant and excellent

narrators all excellent thank you. all of elifs books narrators bring so much to the story

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  • Elif Yilmaz Cesar
  • 27-09-21

Another charming piece

Amazingly heartwarming historical and a magical story as always! Elif Shafak can take you to thise places so wonderfully.

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  • Bage
  • 22-09-21

The next masterpiece from Elif

Loved it as much as any other masterpiece from Elif where she seamlessly combines history, legends and fiction without ever failing to convey her belief in humanity.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-09-21

So touching!

I loved listening and imagining the flora and the fauna described. And, as heartbreaking as it was to listen to the struggles of Crypriots, felt a recognition of parallels in my own cultural history and felt that to be such a meaningful thing, to be able to think about that. Really touched me.

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  • Des
  • 07-10-21

A beautiful and uplifting story.

Another wonderful book written by Elif Shafak. Both narrators were excellent. I looked forward to listening to this book each time I climbed into the car.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-09-21

Fabulous Book

Loved everything about this book, didn’t want it to end. Loved the narration. Will definitely read more from this author.

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  • Kerry Kilner
  • 17-08-21

Elif Shafak gives us another story of love loss a

An exquisitely wrought tale of the complex lives and histories of Cypriot people torn apart and melded together by the madness of war. Like every war the victims and survivors are alike no matter what side they come from. Shafak gives us this vast history through the lives of a few characters who bring to light all the issues that need to be recognised when conflict breaks nations and families apart and explores the ramifications of conflict down the generations.