Laura McVeigh is a screenwriter and novelist.  Laura’s debut novel, Under the Almond Tree published in 2017 by Two Roads Books (John Murray Press part of Hachette) is an international bestseller, published in translation in:

Laura McVeigh
  • France (Fleuve Editions)
  • Germany (S Fischer Verlag)
  • The Netherlands (Luitingh-Sijthoff)
  • Denmark (Hr Ferdinand)
  • Bulgaria (Kragozor)
  • Romania (Editora RAO)
  • China (CITIC Publishing Group)
  • Italy (Bollati Boringhieri Editore Spa)
  • Spain and Latin America (HarperCollins Ibérica)


In a story of love and loss about the effects of war and displacement, Under the Almond Tree asks, if you lost everything you loved, how would you survive and begin again?

A young narrator weaves a tale of resilience and hope in which the power of the imagination, along with Napoleon, Keeper of the Samovar on board the Trans-Siberian Express, and her favourite book Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, help her survive a remarkable journey.


Featured on Irish Times Books to Look out for List 

Under the Almond Tree is something of a publishing coup: a beautiful fiction book that can straddle the Young Adult (YA) and adult markets… As a meditation on war, loss, hope and the plight of the refugee, Under the Almond Tree is as indispensable as it is timeless… a truly essential read.” – Irish Independent

vivid… memorable… comes brilliantly to life… the sorrowful story is humanised and never preachy… the power of the imagination to sustain unbearable tragedy is weaved throughout…”     – Irish Times

a novel look at displacement and belonging, and how we make sense of the world through story” – The i Paper

an incredibly entertaining and effortless read” – Reader’s digest

A warm, wonderful debut novel that will stay with you even after the journey has ended.” – New Internationalist Magazine

“…a story that pulls you in from the very first page. A world so absorbing that it’s disappointing to leave it and return to reality… It’s a beautiful novel that you’ll be sorry to see end.” – IMAGE Magazine

“…a story of resilience, bravery and hope… knowledge of people facing conflict and loss shines through.” – Stylist Magazine

a striking debut… a moving examination of the transformative power of storytelling and the imagination.” – Traveller Magazine

“…rich with feeling… there is real emotional payback for those who share the family’s long trek…” – The Big Issue

a beautifully written debut novel…poignant, moving and completely unforgettable…it is a story  of today.” – The Last Word Book Review

Commendable for the skill and daring of the storytelling and the beautiful writing, but above all, for the compassionate but uplifting portrayal of resilience in the face of unimaginable suffering.” – The Literary Sofa

Richly told tale...” – Grazia Magazine

Foreign press reviews here.
‘Laura McVeigh’s moving novel retells the history of Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion through the experiences of one family  – as seen through the eyes of a young woman. McVeigh pays tribute to the resilience of Afghan women through her depiction of the horrors they undergo – and the strength that they find to survive.’ – Deeyah Khan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom & Creativity


Laura is currently working on her second novel, The Plantation House.  You can hear a little about it in this BBC Interview.  She is also writing screenplays and original content for television, and has featured in Hollywood’s Top 100 New Writers Young and Hungry List and The Hit List 2017 with her manuscript, The Plantation House. New work has recently shortlisted in Screencraft’s Cinematic Book award.


For queries regarding Under the Almond Tree contact, Jonny Geller,  CEO, Curtis Brown Group , Kate Cooper, Curtis Brown Group (Translation Rights) and for Under the Almond Tree film or TV rights queries contact Luke Speed, Curtis Brown Group.

Follow Laura on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram: @lcmcveigh



Laura McVeigh grew up in Northern Ireland. She read Modern & Medieval Languages at Cambridge University after which she moved to London where she worked in publishing, human rights and the charity sector.

She is an alumna of both the Royal Court Theatre Young Writers’ Programme and Writers’ Programme, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and also holds an MSc in Global Politics from the University of London.

Prior to writing her debut novel Under the Almond Tree, Laura was Executive Director of PEN International, the worldwide writers’ association campaigning on freedom of expression issues. Before that she was director of the Global Girls Fund which supports girls’ empowerment, equality and access to learning and education worldwide. Previous experience includes working with young people both in the UK and internationally on education and development projects, working on peace and conflict issues, and human rights work.

Laura has traveled widely, campaigning on human rights issues around the world, with a particular interest in girls’ education. This international outlook is reflected in her writing.

She lives in London and Mallorca with her family.


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