An Olive Grove in Ends
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What to expect
*** ONE OF THE OBSERVER‘S 10 MUST-READ DEBUT NOVELISTS OF 2022 ***
‘A rare glimpse into the harsh realities of street life and love in luminous prose, rendered with sensitivity and without sentimentalism. An astonishing debut’ Cherie Jones, author of HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE
Sayon Hughes, a young Black man from Bristol, dreams of a world far removed from the one in which he was raised. Far removed from the torn slips outside the bookie’s, the burnt spoons and the crooked solutions his community embraces; most of all, removed from the Christianity of his uncaring parents and the prejudice of law-makers.
Growing up, Sayon found respite from the chaos of his environment in the love and loyalty of his brother-in-arms, Cuba; in the example of his cousin Hakim, a man once known as the most infamous drug-dealer in their neighbourhood, now a proselytising Muslim; and in the tenderness of his girl, Shona, whose own sense of purpose galvanises Sayon’s.
In return, Sayon wants to give the people he loves the world: a house atop a grand hill in the most affluent area of the city, a home in which they can forever find joy and safety. But after an altercation in which a boy is killed, Sayon finds his loyalties torn and his dream of a better life in peril.
MORE PRAISE FOR AN OLIVE GROVE IN ENDS:
‘A remarkable debut, bristling with sharp prose and daring originality’ Nathan Harris, author of THE SWEETNESS OF WATER
‘A phenomenally good novel, tense and thrilling and complex, with breath-stealing moments on every page’ Donal Ryan, author of STRANGE FLOWERS
‘This consummately crafted work can only be a harbinger of a stellar and truly significant career. I urge you to read it’ Patrick McCabe, author of THE BUTCHER BOY
‘Engrossing . . . A tough yet tender story of faith and friendship’ OBSERVER
What struck me most forcibly about An Olive Grove in Ends was the poetic strength and majesty of its prose – as the author himself might have it, ‘like clarified honey’. From an author of such tender years – he is yet but twenty-two – this consummately crafted work can only be a harbinger of a stellar and truly significant career. I urge you to read itPatrick McCabe, author of THE BUTCHER BOY
[An Olive Grove in Ends] is magnificent. Moses’ talent is off the scale. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately and it’s a long time since a novel gripped me so tightly . . . This is a phenomenally good novel, tense and thrilling and complex, with breath-stealing moments on every page. And the language. Oh, man.Donal Ryan, author of THE SPINNING HEART
An Olive Grove in Ends chronicles the hard graft and grit of ghetto life in a poignant coming-of-age story rendered in the crackling song of a multi-ethnic UK street. McKenzie offers a rare glimpse into the harsh realities of street life and love in luminous prose, rendered with sensitivity and without sentimentalism. An astonishing debut novel about which I’ll be talking to everyone!Cherie Jones, author of HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE
His engrossing first-person narrative, lyrical and slangy by turns, is the vehicle for a tough yet tender story of faith and friendship, as well as money, knife crime and the failings of the British education systemObserver New Review, 10 Best Debut Novelists of 2022
A remarkable debut, bristling with sharp prose and daring originality. Moses McKenzie offers us a fascinating glimpse into the vibrant world of Ends, whose colourful inhabitants – Sayon in particular – will linger with readers long after the novel comes to a close.Nathan Harris, author of THE SWEETNESS OF WATER
Incredible. The story is completely gripping and expertly paced, the characterisation is rounded and complex, especially the different relationships between characters. I’m in awe of how fully the nuances of the relationships come through in such small details that speak large. And the language – oh my – what an impressive range of registers Moses hits with such beauty in the lyrical bits, such music in the dialogue, and such efficiency throughout. Zero fluff.Melissa Fu, author of PEACH BLOSSOM SPRING
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