WH Smith's Fresh Talent pick
Shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and Marie Claire's Future Shapers' Awards
This Green and Pleasant Land
June 13, 2019
Accountant Bilal Hasham and his journalist wife Mariam plod along contentedly in the sleepy, chocolate box English village they've lived in for eight years.
Then Bilal is summoned to his mother's bedside in Birmingham. Mrs Sakeena Hasham knows she is not long for this world. She has a final request. Instead of whispering her prayers in her dying moments, she instructs her son: You must go home to your village, and you must build a mosque.
Mariam is horrified. The villagers are outraged. How can a grieving Bilal choose between honouring his beloved mum's last wish and preserving everything held dear in the village he calls home?
But it turns out home means different things to different people.
Battle lines are drawn and this traditional little community becomes the colourful canvas on which the most current and fundamental questions of identity, friendship, family and togetherness are played out.
What makes us who we are, who do we want to be, and how far would we go to fight for it?
‘Witty, insightful, and shot through with pathos. . .This book is laugh out loud funny... for me, it's the standout book of the year’ - Abir Mukherjee, award winning author of the Sam Wyndham series.
'Clever and thoughtful… the perfect novel for these Brexit-y times…’ - Red Magazine
‘…an inquiry into faith identity and the meaning of home’ - The Guardian
‘A novel that simmers with tenderness, charm and warmth... Malik’s ability to juggle a cast of characters with a variety of nuanced (and at times alarming) perspectives is a mark of her huge talent as a writer... a gorgeous, deeply relevant book’ - Caroline O'Donoghue
‘Exploring identity, belonging and divided loyalties... this is a prescient novel in our uncertain Brexit times’
‘With laugh-out-loud moments of absurdist comedy, poignant observations of human nature, and philosophical musings on the wisdom and nature of ‘fitting in,’ this is Malik’s best work to date. Satirical, controversial, knowing and essential’ - Vaseem Khan, bestselling author of the Inspector Chopra series
'A gorgeous, funny, smart, uplifting story about seeking unity during times of division. Wish I could prescribe it to the country' - Daisy Buchanan
'This wonderful novel will make you laugh, make you cry and leave a mark on you long after you've finished reading it' - Sarah Shaffi