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What to expect

The hand of friendship can span a thousand miles…

Among the almond orchards of the Swat Valley, Zamir tends goats with his son, Raza. He must make a heartbreaking decision if he is to protect his youngest child from the Taliban.

On a military base in Lashkar Gah, Ben lives on edge, wondering if his family will be the next to receive life-changing news from the front line.

And in a ramshackle house on the Cornish coast, Ben’s mother Delphi, an artist, offers a refuge to her grandson Finn, as he retreats from the changes he senses in his family.

When Raza and Finn, two boys from impossibly different worlds, meet, they are united by their loneliness. But will their unexpected bond be enough to save not just each other, but also their families, just as all their lives are about to change forever?

’At once heartbreaking and uplifting, and its focus on the themes of war and loss, love and friendship across cultures is both topical and timeless: a powerful story from a writer operating at the height of her powers’ JANE JOHNSON, The Tenth Gift

‘Interweave[ing] the devastation exacted by war on the lives of two boys… [this] blistering story shows how no one is remote, connecting rural Cornwall with the Swat Valley of Pakistan’ GEORGIA KAUFMANN, The Dressmaker of Paris

‘Sara MacDonald writes with a lyrical quality that captivated me from the start’ AMANDA JENNINGS, The Storm

Critics Review

  • Praise for Sara MacDonald:

    ‘A beautifully crafted novel of family ties and wartime secrets with delicate layers of emotion’ Inside Cornwall

    ‘Vividly drawn characters . . . Thoughtful and compelling storytelling’ Choice

    ‘Intriguing themes are cleverly woven together . . . I found myself swept along by the sheer interest of every page . . . it grips to the end’ Country Life

    ‘A great read, a moving story of family history, love, deception, passion and heartbreak’ Cornwall Today

    ‘A compelling story from a talented writer’ Belfast Telegraph

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