ONE OF THE OBSERVER‘S 10 MUST-READ DEBUT NOVELISTS OF 2022
A GUARDIAN NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2022
SOHO HOUSE BREAKTHROUGH WRITER AWARD 2022 WINNER
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WRITERS’ GUILD BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2023
‘A rare glimpse into the harsh realities of street life and love in luminous prose, rendered with sensitivity and without sentimentalism. An astonishing debut’ Cherie Jones, author of HOW THE ONE-ARMED SISTER SWEEPS HER HOUSE
Sayon Hughes, a young Black man from Bristol, dreams of a world far removed from the one in which he was raised. Far removed from the torn slips outside the bookie’s, the burnt spoons and the crooked solutions his community embraces; most of all, removed from the Christianity of his uncaring parents and the prejudice of law-makers.
Growing up, Sayon found respite from the chaos of his environment in the love and loyalty of his brother-in-arms, Cuba; in the example of his cousin Hakim, a man once known as the most infamous drug-dealer in their neighbourhood, now a proselytising Muslim; and in the tenderness of his girl, Shona, whose own sense of purpose galvanises Sayon’s.
In return, Sayon wants to give the people he loves the world: a house atop a grand hill in the most affluent area of the city, a home in which they can forever find joy and safety. But after an altercation in which a boy is killed, Sayon finds his loyalties torn and his dream of a better life in peril.
MORE PRAISE FOR AN OLIVE GROVE IN ENDS:
‘Announcing the arrival of a promising 23-year-old author whose work is wise beyond his years’ GUARDIAN
‘A remarkable debut, bristling with sharp prose and daring originality’ Nathan Harris, author of THE SWEETNESS OF WATER
‘A phenomenally good novel, tense and thrilling and complex, with breath-stealing moments on every page’ Donal Ryan, author of THE SPINNING HEART
‘This consummately crafted work can only be a harbinger of a stellar and truly significant career. I urge you to read it’ Patrick McCabe, author of THE BUTCHER BOY
‘Engrossing . . . A tough yet tender story of faith and friendship’ OBSERVER