Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Tuesday 5 December 2023

The Island of the Missing Trees – Elif Shafak

Event Details

Date: 28/11/2022 | Venue: The Black Buoy
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Reading Group Supper at the Black Buoy Monday November 28th....Bookings open

The Island of the Missing Trees - Elif Shafak



A rich, magical novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World – now a top ten Sunday Times bestseller

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chilli peppers and wild herbs. This is where one can find the best food in town, the best music, the best wine. But there is something else to the place: it makes one forget, even if for just a few hours, the world outside and its immoderate sorrows.

In the centre of the tavern, growing through a cavity in the roof, is a fig tree. This tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings, their silent, surreptitious departures; and the tree will be there when the war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to rubble, when the teenagers vanish and break apart.

Decades later in north London, sixteen-year-old Ada Kazantzakis has never visited the island where her parents were born. Desperate for answers, she seeks to untangle years of secrets, separation and silence. The only connection she has to the land of her ancestors is a Ficus Carica growing in the back garden of their home.

The Island of Missing Trees is a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature, and, finally, renewal.

Praise for the Novel

An outstanding work of breathtaking beauty. Lemn Sissay

A writer of important, beautiful, painful, truthful novels. Marian Keyes

Lovely heartbreaker of a novel centered on dark secrets of civil wars & evils of extremism: Cyprus, star-crossed lovers, killed beloveds, damaged kids. Margaret Atwood

Elif Shafak is a unique and powerful voice in world literature. Ian McEwan

One of the best writers in the world today. Hanif Kureishi

A wise novel of love and grief, roots and branches, displacement and home, faith and belief. The Island of Missing Trees is balm for our bruised times. David Mitchell, author of Utopia Avenue


New Menu
28th Nov 2022


Beef Wellington, Garlic Mash and fresh vegetables

Mushroom Risotto, Parmesan Crisp and Chive Oil(V )

Moules marinière


Chocolate Brownie

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Cheeseboard – a selection of locally sourced cheeses with Chutney, Biscuits, Grapes and Celery

Fresh Fruit Salad


Glass of Red Wine

Glass of White Wine

Soft Drink


Bookings closed