The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak: A Book Recommendation

The Island of Missing Trees

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

The Island of Missing Trees is a tale of forbidden love, civil war between the Turks and Greeks, the interconnectivity of nature, the human condition, perseverance, religion and science, mental health, and tradition. It’s incredible how so many themes are woven together seamlessly in this story.

The story follows a teenage couple’s forbidden love and the consequences of war. It alternates between the past and present day, where the couple’s daughter, Ada, is grappling with her understanding of the past and her connection to Cyprus.

The book is incredibly atmospheric. It has rich sensory descriptions of Cyprus—from the tantalizing food to the fragrant smells and the lush nature on the island. Interestingly, it’s also the first novel I’ve ever read that features a fig tree as one of the narrators! In fact, we have several non-human characters who offer pieces of the story through their unique experiences.

This is truly one of the most beautiful and unusual books I’ve ever read!

If families resemble trees, as they say, arborescent structures with entangled roots and individual branches jutting out at awkward angles, family traumas are like thick, translucent resin dripping from a cut in the bark. They trickle down generations.

Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees

If you’re giving The Island of Missing Trees as a gift, here are a few things to consider:

The vibes are emotional, reflective, tense, and hopeful with a medium pace.

It’s the perfect reading experience for anyone who likes books with multiple timelines and points of view. It’s also great for readers who are interested in the human impact on nature, forbidden love, and learning about other cultures.

Permission to judge a book by its cover!

There are a couple of different covers for this book which are in gorgeous hues of blue, all inspired by nature. @reader_mama shared this tropical-vibed photo which makes the book feel like the perfect vacation read. It would also look great in a pastel book stack!

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

*The Island of Missing Trees fulfilled my POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt for a book about a forbidden romance.

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