In the Orchard, the Swallows, By Peter Hobbs


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The Independent Culture

In the mountains of northern Pakistan, near the snow-capped Afghan passes, a teenage boy tangles with a local bigwig whose daughter he loves and is flung into jail "not to be punished, but to be forgotten".

After 15 brutal years and a capricious release, he returns to his village and orchards.

As meditative in its tread as the strolls of its fragile recovering narrator, Hobbs's novel captures the experience of confinement, and its bitter legacy of trauma.

His gravely luminous prose delivers scenes of breath-stopping beauty – and of horror.