As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow
Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. She still had her parents and her big brother; she still had her home. She had a normal teenager’s life.
Now Salama volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors daily. Secretly, though, she is desperate to find a way out of her beloved country before her sister-in-law, Layla, gives birth. So desperate, that she has manifested a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of her imagined companion, Khawf, who haunts her every move in an effort to keep her safe.
But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, Salama is torn between her loyalty to her country and her conviction to survive. Salama must contend with bullets and bombs, military assaults, and her shifting sense of morality before she might finally breathe free. And when she crosses paths with the boy she was supposed to meet one fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all.
Soon, Salama must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are—not a war, but a revolution—and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria’s freedom.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zoulfa Katouh is a Syrian Canadian living in Switzerland. She is currently doing her master’s in Drug Sciences and finds Studio Ghibli inspiration in the mountains, lakes, and stars surrounding her. In her books, you will find strong girls, soft boys, magic, and characters who look like her that grab life by the lapels and live it to the fullest. When she’s not talking to herself in the woodland forest, she’s drinking iced coffee, baking aesthetic cookies and cakes, and telling everyone who would listen about how BTS paved the way. Her dream is to get Kim Namjoon to read one of her books. If that happens, she will expire on the spot. As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow is her debut novel. You can find her on Twitter @thelemonwitch_ or on her website zoulfakatouh.com.
FROM NOVL NATION
“At times achingly tender and at times brutal, the author’s prose creates a world so real you’ll feel your heart shatter right along with the characters.”
“Zoulfa is a genius when it comes to her raw prose and lyrical descriptions… I can’t count the number of times I cried while reading, and the stark portrayal of grief, mental health, and—most importantly—hope is one of the most powerful that I have ever read.”
– Lauren, DontGoBrekkerMyHeart
“This was a beautiful story of survival and perseverance… I would absolutely recommend for everyone to read.”
– Ashley, Ash-and-Books
“Salama is such a beautiful character, haunted by her traumas and promises while doing everything in her power to help those around her.”
– Olivia, onemused
“It’s been months since I read this book but I still can’t find the proper words to write a review fitting for this book. As Long as the Lemon trees Grow has actually altered my brain chemistry… This book is a masterpiece.”
“This book was heartbreakingly beautiful. I cried multiple times… There were times I was just left staring at the page in awe or horror… This book had one big moment that shattered my already-taped up heart. When a book utterly wrecks you as this one…you know it’s good.”
“If you want something heartbreaking and real and powerful complete with Muslim rep, the sweetest romance ever, and gorgeous writing, look no further! There aren’t enough words to describe how good this is.”
“This was heart wrenching, it pulled me in and gripped my heart with it’s bare pages. I don’t know what to say or think except for the word Powerful.”
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