Accountant Bilal Hasham and his journalist wife Mariam plod along contentedly in the sleepy, chocolate box English village they’ve lived in for ten years.
Then Bilal is summoned to his mother’s bedside in Birmingham. Mrs Sakeena Hasham knows she is not long for this world. She has a final request. Instead of whispering her prayers in her dying moments, she instructs her son: You must go home to your village, and you must build a mosque.
Mariam is horrified. The villagers are outraged. How can a grieving Bilal choose between honouring his beloved mum’s last wish and preserving everything held dear in the village he calls home?
But it turns out home means different things to different people.
Battle lines are drawn and this traditional little community becomes the colourful canvas on which the most current and fundamental questions of identity, friendship, family and togetherness are played out.
What makes us who we are, who do we want to be, and how far would we go to fight for it?
‘At the heart of this book lies the simple question: who decides to who and what we belong? This is Malik’s best work to date – satirical, controversial, knowing and essential’ – Vaseem Khan
‘This Green and Pleasant Land, a novel that simmers with tenderness, is a deeply relevant book that is bound to ruffle a fair few feathers, but the right feathers, and for the right reasons’ – Caroline O’Donoghue
‘Thoughtful, funny, excellently written and deserves to be read by everyone . . . it’s the standout book of the year’ – Abir Mukherjee