The inaugural winner of the HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction. This powerful, lyrical novel of the endurance of love is set amid the upheaval of the Arab Spring and the brutal repression of a totalitarian regime. Tarek, a young father, watches as the city he lives in is mired in protests, hemmed in by barricades and strangely inundated by great flocks of birds. Facing the threat of police arrest, he flees with his nine-year-old daughter, Neda. As Tarek and Neda journey through villages razed by conflict towards a mountain refuge, they meet with fellow travellers from Tarek's past and his time as a political prisoner. The reunion reveals secrets that Tarek must come to terms with for his own and Neda's sake.