The Solace of Trees
by Robert Madrygin
Pub Date 21 Jul 2017
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.
"With the soul of a humanist and the prose of a poet, Robert Madrygin takes us into the heart of the darkness that comes from 'otherizing.' Whether in the context of the Bosnian genocide or the global War on Terror, Madrygin challenges us to find a common humanity in the midst of the most inhumane of times." — Dr. James Waller, author of Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, Cohen Professor of Holocaust & Genocide Studies, Keene State College
"Robert Madrygin's devastating debut novel tells the story of a Bosnian Muslim war orphan given a second chance in America only to be caught up in the madness of the US-led global War on Terror. If this book doesn't dispel the myth of American exceptionalism, nothing will." — L. E. Randolph, author of the novel Haven's Wake and editor-in-chief of Ploughshares
"The Solace of Trees tells the story of a child's ability to survive the unspeakable trauma of war with grace and resilience, and how these very skills become necessary once again as an adult. It is a story of human cruelty delivered by opposite forces, and of the power of the individual to make a difference each time." — Patricia Whalen, former international judge of the War Crimes Chamber at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina