A moving novel of love and war by the author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo and Songbirds.
It is July 1974 and on a bright, sunny morning, the Turkish army has invaded the town of Kyrenia in Cyprus. For many people, this means an end to life as they know it. But for some, it is a chance to begin living again.
Everyone has always talked about Koki. They never believed she was her father's daughter and her mother died too soon to quiet their wagging tongues. And when she became pregnant and there was no sign of a husband, her fate was sealed.
So she lives outside the town and hides from her neighbours' eyes. But, held captive with the very women who have made her life so lonely, Koki is finally able to tell them the truth. To talk of the Turkish shoe-maker who came to the town and took her heart away with him when he left. And how she has longed for him all these years.
Meanwhile, Adem Berker finds himself back in Kyrenia, his former home, now as a member of the invading force. Here he left everything he ever wanted and, by cover of darkness, risking his life, he is searching every house, every cafe, every old pathway, for just a glimpse of the only woman he has ever loved.
For readers of The Island, The Book Thief and The Kite Runner.