In the Orchard, The Swallows, by Peter Hobbs. Published 2014 by Europa Editions.
In the Orchard, The Swallows,
is a slim, lyrical book that can be read in a sitting or two, about a
young man released from a Pakistani prison after more than a decade.
Now, the boy he was gone, and the man he could have been ceased to
exist, he must figure out who he is and how he will survive, not just
day to day but how to make a life when everything about himself has been
shattered, reformed and remade.
Peter Hobbs writes the
book as a series of letters to Saba, the girl he knew and the
inadvertent cause of his imprisonment. The two were infatuated with each
other as teens though separated by custom and class. Her father has the
boy arrested and sent away, and the boy stays in prison for years,
becoming a man. Then one day, just like that, he's released and dumped
by the side of the road. He makes his way back home and a kindly
neighbor takes him in and takes care of him, until he's ready to begin
taking care of himself.
He has a long way to go, and
Hobbs makes no bones about the abuse he's suffered and the difficulty of
his recovery in both physical and psychological terms. But there's
hope, and there's a future, even if he doesn't quite know what that
future will hold. I would recommend In the Orchard for readers of Atiq Rahimi and Khaled Hosseini. It's a little gem.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Europa Editions.