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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak.

A rich, magical new audiobook on belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, 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. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne grow in their forbidden love for each other. A fig tree stretches through a cavity in the roof, and this tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually, to their silent, surreptitious departures. The tree is there when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, and when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns. He is a botanist looking for native species, but really, he’s searching for lost love. 

Years later, a Ficus carica grows in the back garden of a house in London where Ada Kazantzakis lives. This tree is her only connection to an island she has never visited - her only connection to her family’s troubled history and her complex identity as she seeks to untangle years of secrets to find her place in the world.

A moving, beautifully written and delicately constructed story of love, division, transcendence, history and eco-consciousness, The Island of Missing Trees is Elif Shafak’s best work yet.

©2021 Elif Shafak (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

What listeners say about The Island of Missing Trees

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WOW! What a great story and narration!

I literally just finished listening to this story and I am crying. I’m typing through my tears. How wonderful a story. The accents and differing voices in the narration were wonderful. I won’t spoil anything but I love the humanization of trees and insects. This novel will stick with me for a lifetime and it will quickly come to mind when recommending books to friends and family.

7 people found this helpful

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  • KR
  • 11-24-21

Beautifully woven tale

A beautifully written story so wonderfully performed. One of the best I’ve listened to this year.

7 people found this helpful

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Tear My Heart Out Why Don’t Ya?!

A masterpiece told my master storytellers, this book hooks you in and keeps you there till the very end. A moving and poignant tale of love, war, and humanity ‘Missing Trees’ will make you see the world in a brand new way. I can not recommend this book enough.

6 people found this helpful

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Enchanting

A beautiful story about biology, history, family, identity, love, grief, and resilience that pulled at my heart strings.

4 people found this helpful

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A worthwhile read

This is a touching and thought-provoking book. The narrator is perfect for it. Very easy to listen to. She adds a lot to the story.

4 people found this helpful

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Deep and thoughtful

I enjoy stories from different points of view and different eras. This was beautifully written. The fig tree is the best character and gives an amazing deliverance. I think maybe the accent was off on a few voices a few times but overall thankful it o hear the words pronounced. Love this story.

3 people found this helpful

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Really great!

Both voice actors were really fantastic in regards to all aspects.
I loved the story too — the shifting in time frames, the fig tree narrator. Everything.
An easy listen, deep concentration definitely not needed.

3 people found this helpful

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I just couldn't get into it

I really had a hard time listening the the narrators. I returned this book to audible after listening to 45 minutes. I still have no clue what this book is about.

2 people found this helpful

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Such a Unique & Absorbing Story!

Loved both the story & performance of this book. An interesting, unique tale (with basis in historical and current events). I really enjoyed how the author wove nature, war, and love together. The only issue I had was that sometimes the accents are a bit hard to understand but felt like that added to the mystique at the same time.

2 people found this helpful

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A 3 star ending to a 5 star story

I don’t have much to say about this book, but I felt compelled to explain my rating. I was absolutely entranced by this story to the very last word, but felt overwhelmingly let down by the ending. To me, there was no real resolution to any of the characters story lines and I was left wanting, waiting, wishing for it. One more chapter, an epilogue, SOMETHING! I felt throughout the entire store as if it was building to a grand revelation of sorts, and yet, it’s almost as it just trails off right before we reach it. Overall the storytelling is beautiful, and I loved the characters and the web of love and loss and connection they were building, but the ending was so underwhelming to me, it cost the book 2 stars :/

1 person found this helpful

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  • CZ
  • 02-27-22

Love it

Loved everything about this book but the stand out piece for me was the voice of the tree. So unique, perfect. Thinking back upon it I can't imagine the tree having any other voice. Very smart to have two different readers for this book! Highly reco.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-14-22

Good enough story ruined by dreadful narration

I have read a number of other novels from this author and really enjoyed them but less so this one. The real issue however is the dreadful narration which would be better placed in a CBeebies tv programme - totally over acted and inappropriate. The accents were also gratingly inauthentic. Maybe if I had read the book I would have enjoyed it better.