Reviews

  • "an excellent novel, a model of restraint and quiet literary sophistication"

    Sunday Times
  • "[A] luminous debut novel… This is a book that demanded to be written... With a light touch, Faye dramatises the terrible nostalgia of having lost not only a childhood but also a whole world to war"

    Nadifa Mohamed, Guardian
  • "An evocative portrait of what it means to lose one’s freedom and innocence. Gaël Faye’s literary powers lie in his unbridled honesty and his effortless prose. He is a writer of great promise and grace"

    Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen
  • "Unforgettable… Gaël Faye’s talent is breathtaking; no country that can give the world a writer like him should ever be called small"

    Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers
  • "as beautiful as it is painful... It's easy to see why it set the French literary scene alight. This is one you won't be abandoning in the hotel library when you leave."

    Sam Baker, The Pool
  • "a masterpiece in bringing home the first-hand realities of war... It's heart-wrenching and beautiful and distressingly authentic. Everyone should read it."

    The Pool
  • "This beautiful coming-of-age novel conveys a heart-rending desire for peace and harmony. It sets forth a vision of the world that is poetic rather than political, where horror is displaced by wonder."

    Le Figaro
  • "A magnificent book… a master-stroke of a first novel"

    Le Parisien
  • "Precise and potent...deeply affecting... The juxtaposition of everyday growing pains and the fallout from atrocities is heightened by Faye's lovely prose, which builds a heartrending portrait of the end of childhood"

    Publishers Weekly
  • "Gaël Faye’s words are a mix of such precision, gentleness and gravitas that finishing this first novel feels like coming out of a heartrending embrace."

    Le Point