'To stand with your peace-flag in front of an army tank and be surprised when you get shot at: this is all the joy of youth. To ask to be fired upon and then have all your friends be outraged for you: this is love.'
In the first years of this century, three young people, Anne-Marie, David and Mohammed, try to find their places in a changed world of identity politics, religion, conflict and betrayal. Set against the background first of student life and then Palestine, Israel and the Balkans, this beautifully written, original and powerful debut novel draws on the poetry of the Song of Songs and the Persian poet Rumi, and asks searching questions about the nature of betrayal, loyalty and identity, both in our personal lives and in today's troubled world.
'I began Psalm 119 late one night, and realised that I would not be going to bed until the novel was good and ready to let me go.' Tobias Hill, Prize Judge
'Inborn literary skill, deftness of language, equally at home with the known and the so far unknown – and funny with it. If she keeps it up she'll take her place among the best in the land.' Fay Weldon, Prize Judge