The Fig Orchard Kindle Ø The Fig Kindle -

The Fig Orchard The unforgettable story of a woman splintered by war and cultural s, desperately struggling to hold her family together, THE FIG ORCHARD is a rich, compelling epic of love, heroism, family and empowerment In an isolated, tradition bound village high above the Jordan River, balancing delicately amidst age old superstitions and religious orthodoxy, Nisrina Huniah, a fifteen year old girl, is torn between innocent imaginings and looming apprehensions as she marries a man she has never met, only to fall in love on the night they are wed Her joy takes a heart wrenching turn when the encroaching World War fiercely shatters her reality, propelling her on an unexpected journey where she develops friendships that ultimately alter her perception of herself and the world around her Beautifully written, this sweeping epic of love and friendship, longing, and the hope of redemption is woven into a colorful tapestry that comes alive against the vibrant backdrop of life in early twentieth century Middle East With its haunting and deeply affecting ending, THE FIG ORCHARD will remain in the hearts and minds of its readers long after the last page is turned


About the Author: Layla Fiske

Award winning author, Layla Fiske, was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in Southern California The daughter and granddaughter of immigrants, she was raised with the rich culture, language and foods of the Middle East A graduate of San Diego State University, she completed a career in the field of land use management while raising two children Now the grandmother of three, she lives in San Diego with her husband THE FIG ORCHARD, named one of the Best Books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews winner of the Theodor S Geisel Best of the Best Book Award winner of the San Diego Book Awards Best Historical Fiction and winner of the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Historical Fiction, is her first novel.



10 thoughts on “The Fig Orchard

  1. Jennie Coull Jennie Coull says:

    I read this book a couple of weeks ago and I deliberately left it to review, I wanted to give it a good amount of time to settle over my soul What I feel when I think of The Fig Orchard is sadness, not because this was an overly sad book don t get me wrong I did cry like a baby or a bad book, no it makes me sad because no one is reading it.What it s about The unforgettable story of a woman splintered by war and cultural s, desperately struggling to hold her family together, THE FIG ORCHAR I read this book a couple of weeks ago and I deliberately left it to review, I wanted to give it a good amount of time to settle over my soul What I feel when I think of The Fig Orchard is sadness, not because this was an overly sad book don t get me wrong I did cry like a baby or a bad book, no it makes me sad because no one is reading it.What it s about The unforgettable story of a woman splintered by war and cultural s, desperately struggling to hold her family together, THE FIG ORCHARD is a rich, compelling epic of love, heroism, family and empowerment In an isolated, tradition bound village high above the Jordan River, balancing delicately amidst age old superstitions and religious orthodoxy, Nisrina Huniah, a fifteen year old girl, is torn between innocent imaginings and looming apprehensions as she marries a man she has never met, only to fall in love on the night they are wed Her joy takes a heart wrenching turn when the encroaching World War fiercely shatters her reality, propelling her on an unexpected journey where she develops friendships that ultimately alter her perception of herself and the world around her Beautifully written, this sweeping epic of love and friendship, longing, and the hope of redemption is woven into a colorful tapestry that comes alive against the vibrant backdrop of life in early twentieth century Middle East With its haunting and deeply affecting ending, THE FIG ORCHARD will remain in the hearts and minds of its readers long after the last page is turnedWhat I thoughtThis is a beautiful coming of age story about a strong girl in a time and place where women s rights meant nothing, women were things to be owned and controlled It is about love, and how love can heal you, whether it be the love of a husband, a child or a friend.As I said it was beautiful, the writing is wonderful, detailed, magical and realistic I was whisked off to a time and place I have never really thought about, set in the Middle East, I was made to think about the long lasting effects of WW1 even in the small towns It was obvious that the author knew what she was talking about, and had done her research They do say write what you know and Layla Fiske did that so well, my god the food sounded so real, I was hungry the whole time reading this When I wasn t reading It, I was thinking about reading it trying to find an extra 5 minutes here and there The character development was outstanding and heartbreaking and everything just had a real sense of realism to it It was a bit predictable in places, but you know what I didn t care.My heart just broke for Nisrinathan once It was a hard life for her growing up, no real mother and a father that couldn t stand to look at her She was used as a maid, baby sitter and tolerated at best till she came of age and was sold off as quick as look at you Jabran was fascinated with Nisrina from the first moment he saw her and he knew as soon as he could he would make her his bride He was a gentle old soul with a sense and understanding of the world that many men didn t have after a life time He just wanted to live his life, love his family and tend to his fig orchard.I loved that after her childhood she found real love with Jabran I felt it and believed it, I believed he loved her with his whole being, he saw her for her, not just as a women to be owned and bear his children He loved the woman she was and was happy spending the rest of his life loving her, but that all changed when one day he was taken and enslaved into Turkish army.My only real complaint is I hungered forinteraction between Nisrina and Jabran I wanted to hear their talks and see their love btw when I say see I don t mean the sexy bits, I am rather pleased they were left out , I don t think they would have added anything to this story I just wantedinteraction between the two.On a side note I do find it hard to read historical books with my modern day brain I find my inner feminist comes out and I want to rage at the injustices..lolthan once I had to remind myself that this is set in a very different time and place.Over all this book has made its way into my heart and onto my favorite shelf It is one that I know I will read again and highly recommend it to EVERYONE


  2. Cheryl Wedesweiler Cheryl Wedesweiler says:

    I won this book in a GOODREADS.COM giveaway on December 31, 2013 The author mailed a copy to me and I received it on January 3, 2013 The book was so interesting that I am glad that I started it immediately upon receipt.This story takes place in Palestine before World War I A young girl, Nisrina, is raised in a society that frowns upon the education of women She is raised by her coldhearted father, but taken under the wing of her stepmother An arranged marriage brings about feelings of fear, I won this book in a GOODREADS.COM giveaway on December 31, 2013 The author mailed a copy to me and I received it on January 3, 2013 The book was so interesting that I am glad that I started it immediately upon receipt.This story takes place in Palestine before World War I A young girl, Nisrina, is raised in a society that frowns upon the education of women She is raised by her coldhearted father, but taken under the wing of her stepmother An arranged marriage brings about feelings of fear, but she lucks out because her husband turns out to be sweet and thoughtful Some women found that their husbands, whom they often did not met before the wedding, were brutal Nisrina s husband is kidnapped and forced to become a soldier for the Turks She is left to raise their three children as she prays for his return.This story was great fun and it kept me captivated for hours The story is told with rich and beautiful detail The reader is transported to this time and can almost smell the wonderful meals.I do plan to donate this book to the library so that others can enjoy it


  3. Nicole Overmoyer Nicole Overmoyer says:

    Layla Fiske has painted a beautiful picture of a world I really never stopped to consider the Holy Land in the years before, during, and after World War I She leaves the reader with no doubt that she knows the customs, the dress, the food, and the climate of the time and the place Her characters are human in their failings and in their accomplishments No one is perfect and all pay self imposed penance for the crimes they believe themselves to have committed.There were times I wanted to shake Layla Fiske has painted a beautiful picture of a world I really never stopped to consider the Holy Land in the years before, during, and after World War I She leaves the reader with no doubt that she knows the customs, the dress, the food, and the climate of the time and the place Her characters are human in their failings and in their accomplishments No one is perfect and all pay self imposed penance for the crimes they believe themselves to have committed.There were times I wanted to shake Jabran and shout at him to stop being such a fool but then I realized his only foolishness was in being a good man.There were times I wanted to hug Nisrina and tell her that she hadn t done anything to deserve the pain she thinks she deserves but then I realized she had to do what she did or she couldn t be the woman she wanted to be.The book is a time and a place that most of us never thought about With our twenty first century minds, we might even say that things should not have been the way they were then We would be wrong The author has convinced me of that The only reason this book doesn t get five stars from me is the timing of things Once Jabran and Nisrina get married, the years mentioned in the book only span four years or so based on the dates mentioned The problem is that Nisrina and her children grow and change very quickly in those years Too much happens, I suppose is the best way to put it, for it all to fit in the time frame Or maybe I m just being picky.Either way, I m so happy I had the chance to read this book and I will read it again I know I missed things I won a copy of The Fig Orchard in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.


  4. Grace Grace says:

    This book frustrated me to no end I kept saying, Where is this lady s editor I kid you not, one out of every ten sentences is a fragment I guess that s her writing style, but it s maddening And the rabbit trails Just when the plot was getting exciting, she d go into the whole life story of a minor character The length could have been cut by half with no ill effects To be honest, the only reason I read beyond the first hundred pages is because the story is so intriguing But that even This book frustrated me to no end I kept saying, Where is this lady s editor I kid you not, one out of every ten sentences is a fragment I guess that s her writing style, but it s maddening And the rabbit trails Just when the plot was getting exciting, she d go into the whole life story of a minor character The length could have been cut by half with no ill effects To be honest, the only reason I read beyond the first hundred pages is because the story is so intriguing But that even failed me, as it got very predictable, with all the loose ends tied up in one neat, unbelievable bow Very Deus ex machina I m sure we ll still have lots of fun discussing it at book club though


  5. Jeanie Rucker Jeanie Rucker says:

    Layla Fiske s historical fiction novel, The Fig Orchard, is an amazing and captivating read She describes life in the Middle East so vividly that another culture unfolds before your eyes Nisrima stays strong through life s unexpected trials and true to her only love, Jabran Because of Layla Fiske s fine tuned writing skills, the reader is captivated by many questions some of which are not fully answered till the end of the book I was left wanting the story to continue and I can only hope t Layla Fiske s historical fiction novel, The Fig Orchard, is an amazing and captivating read She describes life in the Middle East so vividly that another culture unfolds before your eyes Nisrima stays strong through life s unexpected trials and true to her only love, Jabran Because of Layla Fiske s fine tuned writing skills, the reader is captivated by many questions some of which are not fully answered till the end of the book I was left wanting the story to continue and I can only hope that this talented writer will bring us a sequel to The Fig Orchard


  6. Joanne Schroeder Joanne Schroeder says:

    Our book club just read the Fig Orchard and we all loved it What an amazing read I instantly connected to the main character, Nisrina, and as the story unfolded, I felt both her pain and her passion It is sensuous and tender I loved the settings, and am impressed with how detailed and realistic they were I truly felt transported The Fig Orchard ranks right up there with Khaled Hosseini s latest book which I d just finished reading And the Mountains Echoed I love a book that I keep th Our book club just read the Fig Orchard and we all loved it What an amazing read I instantly connected to the main character, Nisrina, and as the story unfolded, I felt both her pain and her passion It is sensuous and tender I loved the settings, and am impressed with how detailed and realistic they were I truly felt transported The Fig Orchard ranks right up there with Khaled Hosseini s latest book which I d just finished reading And the Mountains Echoed I love a book that I keep thinking about after I ve finished it and this book did not disappoint Layla Fiske did an excellent job telling a story of love, intrigue, cruelty and compassion


  7. Kris Purtle Kris Purtle says:

    Let me start this review by saying that I am a voracious reader When I get into a book, I devour it That said, when my mom first read this book, and raved about it, I was still hesitant to read it I didn t think that it would be a story to my liking Still, I purchased it, on my Kindle, to read before our book club gets together to discuss it I waited, and waited But, I finally sat down to read it, and I was captured from the start I felt a kinship toward Nisrina, as a girl who just wanted Let me start this review by saying that I am a voracious reader When I get into a book, I devour it That said, when my mom first read this book, and raved about it, I was still hesitant to read it I didn t think that it would be a story to my liking Still, I purchased it, on my Kindle, to read before our book club gets together to discuss it I waited, and waited But, I finally sat down to read it, and I was captured from the start I felt a kinship toward Nisrina, as a girl who just wantedout of life than what was about to be handed to her Instead of getting to leave, for the girls school, with her closest friend, Nisrina was instead given to marriage I fell in love with the story of her life with Jabran with his tender, and true love for his wife, and their children I wept with her as he was taken away for a war he wanted nothing to do with As the story continues, there is much heartache But, somewhere along the way, Nisrina comes into her true calling, and returns home a woman, with strength, knowledge and courage Written in a time, and place, where women are to be completely dependent on men, to honor and obey them. Nisrina lives a life like a roller coaster ride, with many ups and downs Yet, she keeps strong in the face of much adversity With a beautiful ending, that left me aching to want , but fulfilled me at the same time I d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction I would love to see Layla Fiske write a second book, picking up where The Fig Orchard left off Giving us a glimpse into the reunion, that was much anticipated through each turned page To hear about the lives of Nisrina and Jabran s children


  8. Jill Jill says:

    Thank you to the Goodreads First Reads giveaways program for putting The Fig Orchard into my hands It is such a gift for book lovers to win the opportunity to own, read and review books before they are released to or realized by the wider public Layla Fiske s historical novel is set in the Middle East during the early 20th century and follows Nisrina from the moment of her tumultuous birth into her marriage and child bearing years, and then through the events that are set in motion by the fi Thank you to the Goodreads First Reads giveaways program for putting The Fig Orchard into my hands It is such a gift for book lovers to win the opportunity to own, read and review books before they are released to or realized by the wider public Layla Fiske s historical novel is set in the Middle East during the early 20th century and follows Nisrina from the moment of her tumultuous birth into her marriage and child bearing years, and then through the events that are set in motion by the first World War The story contains intense scenes of murder and war, as well as quiet, reflective chapters about cultural, culinary and religious rituals, and the pursuit of education While I loved the development of Nisrina s character as she discovers and fulfills her vocation as a convent taught midwife, my favorite part of the saga was when Jabran is forced to serve in the Turkish army during the War and to make choices that will both hurt and save those he loves Overall, I found Orchard to be an uplifting story that explores the relationships between spouses, friends, children and parents, and enemies who realize that they havein common than they originally believed


  9. Gordon Howard Gordon Howard says:

    An excellent first novel by author Layla Fiske The book has an interesting and somewhat overlooked historical setting, the Arab Christian community of Palestine in the first part of the 20th century, before World War II The Middle East front of World War I, which pitted the Ottoman Turkish empire rulers of Palestine against Great Britain rulers of Egypt , is not well known other than through the story of Lawrence of Arabia, but plays an important part in this story However, the book is pri An excellent first novel by author Layla Fiske The book has an interesting and somewhat overlooked historical setting, the Arab Christian community of Palestine in the first part of the 20th century, before World War II The Middle East front of World War I, which pitted the Ottoman Turkish empire rulers of Palestine against Great Britain rulers of Egypt , is not well known other than through the story of Lawrence of Arabia, but plays an important part in this story However, the book is primarily focused on the life of a Palestinian woman, her family, and those in the Palestinian Christian community with whom she interacts Her life spans a period during which traditional Palestinian Christian society changes as a result of the forces of modernity, particularly in terms of the place of women within that society.The story itself is filled with interesting plot turns and situations The many characters are tied together in a way that reminds me of a Charles Dickens novel, in which coincidence and chance often lead their lives to become intertwined The bittersweet, haunting, and somewhat mysterious ending makes me wonder if a sequel is forthcoming, but in a way I hope not


  10. Diane Schuller Diane Schuller says:

    This book had me right from the beginning It s one of those stories that had me thinking of it several times through the day even wanting to drop everything to read further I won t soon forget this epic story As the publisher uses in it s PR, I agree whole heartedly that this novel,is a rich, compelling epic of love, heroism, family and empowerment. I was fully invested in the characters, especially Nishrina the novel s heroine This is a beautiful coming of age story about a strong g This book had me right from the beginning It s one of those stories that had me thinking of it several times through the day even wanting to drop everything to read further I won t soon forget this epic story As the publisher uses in it s PR, I agree whole heartedly that this novel,is a rich, compelling epic of love, heroism, family and empowerment. I was fully invested in the characters, especially Nishrina the novel s heroine This is a beautiful coming of age story about a strong girl in a time and place in which women were objects to be owned and controlled It is about love, and how love can heal you.There was only one minor incident in which a character was dying and what that person said did not ring true for me though it certainly added to the already multi layered plot For a first novel with such a rich and layered story, that s rather minor in my view I loved this story.This one ends up in my all time top favourites shelf Highly recommended


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