The Solace of Trees tells the story of Amir, a young boy of secular Muslim heritage who witnesses his family’s murder in the Bosnian War. Amir hides in a forest, mute and shocked, among refugees fleeing for their lives. Narrowly escaping death, he finds sanctuary, and after a charity relocates him to the United States, the retired professor who fosters Amir learns that the boy holds a shameful secret concerning his parents’ and sister’s deaths. Amir’s years in the US bring him healing. As Amir enters adulthood, his destiny brings him full circle back to the darkness he thought he’d forever escaped.
Described from the perspective of a child victim, The Solace of Trees is the lesser-told story of the tragedy of war, from the Bosnian War to the US policy of government-sponsored abductions. A tale shared by countless victims in countless times and places, it is both a sobering look at the hidden cost of war and an affirmation of the human spirit.
“Powerful, eye-opening reading for everyone. . . . Using firm, quiet language to agonizing and ultimately infuriating effect, debut novelist Madrygin tells an important story.”
—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
“Madrygin’s harrowing, compelling debut will live long in the reader’s memory. . . . A timely novel that introduces a writer of huge ambition, The Solace of Trees is deeply informative and moving, and it will spark debates regarding American foreign policy.”
“In Madrygin’s gripping debut, the horrors of war give way to the challenges of carving out a life in a hostile country.”