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Booklist: " Hobbs’ prose is spare, clean, and lyrical, giving In the Orchard, the Swallows a timeless feeling"

Date: Feb 10 2014

Hobbs’ novel is narrated by a nameless man whose release from many years in a Pakistani prison gives him time to reflect on his wasted years. The cause of his imprisonment is revealed through writings in his journal to his long-lost love, the daughter of a wealthy local man. After finding the two youngsters asleep in a pomegranate orchard, the girl’s father beats the boy and has him sent away to prison. He spends the next 15 years thinking of his lost love and watching the changes in modern-day Pakistan from inside a prison cell. After his release, the man is discovered, half-dead, by a poet and his daughter, who offer him shelter and respite after his long imprisonment. Hobbs’ prose is spare, clean, and lyrical, giving In the Orchard, the Swallows a timeless feeling; however, the markers of the Afghan war and the changes in the landscape remind the reader that this story is very contemporary.
—Heather Paulson