I thought I’d add a new slot to my newsletter, as my reading mojo has returned for good, it seems. I’ve had months and even years where my brain wouldn’t let me read a book for pleasure unless I was on holiday.
I’m reading The Island of Missing Trees
by Elif Shafak, a British-Turkish novelist. This book is set on the island of Cyprus and charts its division through the lives of two lovers on opposite sides, with much of the story being told by an old fig tree that stood in a restaurant on the island.
This is totally up my street because it’s a book set in a distant (although not that distant) land and it has elements of magical realism, where magical things happen in real-life settings (storytelling trees, for instance). I love the beautiful cover too. Sometimes I think that the non-fiction element is a bit forced in and doesn’t feel organic to the prose, but it’s a tricky thing to pull off. Elif’s writing is beautiful, especially around love and the natural world.
I can’t help but think with an editor’s hat on when I’m reading, and always have ideas of how I’d improve it. However, I’ve learned not to blast those opinions all over Amazon and Goodreads because I know the author will see them and possibly be upset. Since I published my own books, I’ve gone back and deleted some highly critical reviews. I thought I was being so clever, but in actual fact, I was being hurtful to authors.
A lesson learned.
Buy Elif’s novel here
, and escape to Cyprus for a few hours.