With exquisite language, Peter Hobbs tells the story of a man’s enduring belief in the purity of lost love. The novel begins at a village wedding in Pakistan, where a boy risks speaking to Saba, the beautiful daughter of a powerful politician. That night, the two secretly meet in his father’s orchard. As they wait for dawn to reveal the orchard’s beauty, he gives her a pomegranate (the fruit of Islamic legend), and they fall asleep unaware of the peril to come. When Saba’s father recognizes the couple’s mutual attraction, he sends the boy to prison without a trial. Fifteen years later he is released without explanation and begins the long walk home. Collapsing from weakness, he is rescued by a kindly scholar who discovers him unconscious by the side of the road. As the boy—now a man—gradually recovers, he takes daily walks to the grove where he last saw Saba by the light of dawn. This novel of how love dies and lives, and of how lives can pass unnoticed and deprived of justice, is a remarkable parable of the invincibility of the human heart. Its depiction of the random cruelty of life and the savagery of corruption are balanced by its compassionate exploration of the nature of love and hope.
Peter Hobbs grew up in Cornwall and Yorkshire, England. His debut novel, The Short Day Dying, was published by Faber in 2005. It won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. A collection of stories, I Could Ride All Day in My Cool Blue Train, was published in 2006.