In the Orchard, the Swallows by Peter Hobbs

In the Orchard, the Swallows

byPeter Hobbs

Kobo ebook | April 14, 2012

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A Guardian Book of the Year and Chapters/Indigo Best Book

In the foothills of a mountain range in northern Pakistan is a beautiful orchard. Swallows wheel and dive silently over the branches, and the scent of jasmine threads through the air. Pomegranates hang heavy, their skins darkening to a deep crimson. Neglected now, the trees are beginning to grow wild, their fruit left to spoil on the branches.

Many miles away, a frail young man is flung out of prison gates. Looking up, scanning the horizon for swallows in flight, he stumbles and collapses in the roadside dust. His ravaged body tells the story of fifteen years of brutality.

Just one image has held and sustained him through the dark times -- the thought of the young girl who had left him dumbstruck with wonder all those years ago, whose eyes were lit up with life.

A tale of tenderness in the face of great and corrupt power, In The Orchard, The Swallows is a heartbreaking novel written in prose of exquisite stillness and beauty.

Title:In the Orchard, the SwallowsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:April 14, 2012Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770892117

ISBN - 13:9781770892118

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exquisite Writing okay, so i had to take a bit of times to process this read and while i have a few things to say about this beautiful book, i can't guarantee any coherence of my thoughts. this book has sort-of...rendered me dumb. though probably "awe-struck" is a better term? :) going into this read, i was very aware of hobbs's backstory: 15 years ago, while travelling in pakistan, hobbs became very ill. so sick from a crazy virus that attacked his immune system and confounded doctors, in fact, that he was rendered disabled and not able to work or even function for 10 years. and while he is not totally "better" he is at a point where he can entertain choices about how to live and how to earn a living. so, this information was very present in my mind while reading the story of a young man, imprisoned at the age of 14. he endures torture and is held for 15 years (all for falling in love with a girl above his station). hobbs maintains the prison arc was not an allegory for his own illness, but it's hard to not make that connection. hobbs's writing is exquisite - spare, exact and beautiful. as a reader i was pulled into our unnamed narrator's love, heartache and pain. so much is conveyed so simply with the prose and while our narrator experiences horrible things, i was left feeling, very strongly, this person, this story was full of hope, and humanity and compassion can still be found in this world in the most unlikely places. i am very grateful there are publishing houses and editors willing (and keen) to take on books that are quieter and less mainstream. i hope to convince many people to read this amazing book!!
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Simple story A very short, very simple story. Not what i expected.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful prose A book that is more about the writing and less about the story. Absolutely beautiful, would recommend.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Orchard blooms, The Swallows soar "In the Orchard, the Swallows" is a slim book but carries much weight and packs full punches. It is a poignant letter of love, an inner recount of memories, a grateful recognition of support, and an intimate chronicle of life, by a soul unjustly broken but whose fragments are slowly being pieced back together. Peter Hobbs impresses with the distinct tone that brought me to The Orchard, The Prison, and The Village of mountainous northern Pakistan, and evoked that Middle Eastern lyricism in the simplicity of his words. Those last few chapters were absolutely beautiful, tying all threads together while tugging at my heartstrings.
Date published: 2014-01-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from In the Orchard the Swallows Great short read, difficult to read because of graphic torture and heartbreak, but worth the time because of hero's recovery and spirit.
Date published: 2013-04-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from In the Orchard the Swallows Great short read, difficult to read because of graphic torture and heartbreak, but worth the time because of hero's recovery and spirit.
Date published: 2013-04-30