An epic, emotional, breathtaking story of love and loss set amid the Syrian revolution. Burning with the fires of hope and possibility, AS LONG AS THE LEMON TREES GROW will sweep you up and never let you go.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS DISCOVER BOOK OF THE YEAR
'This is an important book. Everyone should read it' - Elizabeth Laird, award-winning author of Welcome to Nowhere
'Wrenching and lyrical' - Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of Internment
'Hauntingly beautiful ... a must read' - Huda Fahmy, author of Huda F Are You
Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. She still had her parents and her big brother; she still had her home. She was even supposed to be meeting a boy to talk about marriage.
Now Salama volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors. She knows that she should be thinking about leaving, but who will help the people of her beloved country if she doesn't? With her heart so conflicted, her mind has conjured a vision to spur her to action. His name is Khawf, and he haunts her nights with hallucinations of everything she has lost.
But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, when she crosses paths with Kenan, the boy she was supposed to meet on that fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all. Soon, Salama must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are-not a war, but a revolution-and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria's freedom.
Katouh's powerful debut, a speculative novel set amid the Syrian Revolution, follows one Syrian 17-year-old's struggles balancing duty to her country and to herself. Before the Arab Spring, Salama Kassab dreamed of studying herbology, becoming a pharmacist, and traveling the world. Now, a year after the 2011 uprising, she's volunteering as a de facto surgeon at her local hospital, tending to those wounded in the violence surrounding them. Following Mama's death and the military arrests of Baba and her brother, Salama cares for her pregnant sister-in-law, Layla, who wants Salama to arrange them both passage on a boat to Germany. But Salama's hesitancy to flee her country in its time of need, coupled with a budding relationship with Kenan Aljendi, whom she met after treating his younger sister, leaves her feeling unmoored. Her trauma manifests into a PTSD-induced hallucinatory companion named Khawf, who dispenses advice and forces her to examine her responsibilities to Layla, Kenan, herself, and Syria. Katouh's lyrical prose, combined with a moving portrayal of first love, unflinchingly depicts both the costs of revolution, and the strength it takes to fight for one's beliefs. Ages 14–up.