Author(s): Laura McVeigh
With its distinctive time and place and its shifting realities, and an indelible storyteller in Samar, The Almond Tree lets us look at the effect of war through the lens of one middle-class family displaced by conflict in Afghanistan in the 1990s, as first the Russians, then the Taliban, turn their lives inside out. As they are forced to flee Kabul and head to the hills of the Hindu Kush, the six children and their parents face the loss of their home, their sons and daughters' education, their world and their place in it. Through it all Samar bravely holds on to family and hope, when often all hope seems to be extinguished. But with the strength that comes from family and an extraordinary resilience, perhaps you can get through anything - given a chance.
Laura McVeigh's moving novel retells the history of Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion through the experiences of one family - as seen through the eyes of a young woman. McVeigh pays tribute to the resilience of Afghan women through her depiction of the horrors they undergo - and the strength that they find to survive Deeyah Khan, UN Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom & Creativity
LAURA MCVEIGH grew up in Northern Ireland. She read Modern & Medieval Languages at Cambridge University. Previously Director of PEN International, the leading worldwide writers' organisation, she has travelled widely campaigning on freedom of expression issues around the world. Laura is also a passionate advocate for girls' education having served as Director of The Global Girls Fund. She lives in London and the Balearics with her family. Under the Almond Tree is her debut novel and she is currently writing her second, The Plantation House. lauramcveigh.com @lcmcveigh