Under the Almond Tree


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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.

‘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, Film-maker, Activist


Under the Almond Tree on Irish Times Books to Watch 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 warm, wonderful debut novel that will stay with you even after the journey has ended.” – New Internationalist Magazine

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 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

Under the Almond Tree is a vibrant and tender modern fable of a young life blighted by war” – Bookanista

“...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

Imbued with literary and historical references… an emotional, descriptive, and wistful story about the power of ideas and stories, depicted as a form of quiet resistance.” – The Reader (Booksellers NZ)

Richly told tale...” – Grazia Magazine

Foreign Press reviews here.


Under the Almond Tree is published by Two Roads Books (John Murray Press).

Foreign Translations

The internationally bestselling novel has been published in ten languages, including translation in 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) and in Spain and Latin America (HarperCollins Ibérica).

Visual Research

The novel is set through the 1960s to 1990s in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia. You can see some of the visual research for the novel here:


Photographs from research travels in the region are available on instagram: lcmcveigh


Buy the Book

 Under the Almond Tree can be purchased online on Amazon, Google Books, Waterstones, Foyles, and at all good bookshops. It can also be ordered via the Hodder or Hachette websites.