book cover of Under the Tamarind Tree

Under the Tamarind Tree

A novel by

A compellingly heartbreaking debut novel about the echoes of Partition and four friends whose dark secrets lead to a life-changing night that comes back to haunt them decades later.

One night. Four friends. Countless secrets.

1964. Karachi, Pakistan.Rozeena is running out of time. She'll lose her home—her parents' safe haven since fleeing India and the terrors of Partition—if her medical career doesn't take off soon. But success may come with an unexpected price. Meanwhile the interwoven lives of her childhood best friends—Haaris, Aalya, and Zohair—seem to be unraveling with each passing day. The once small and inconsequential differences between their families' social standing now threaten to divide them. Then one fateful night someone ends up dead and the life they once took for granted shatters.

2019. Rozeena receives a call from a voice she never thought she’d hear again. What begins as an ask to look after a friend’s teenaged granddaughter struggling with her own demons grows into an unconventional friendship—one that unearths buried secrets and just might ruin everything Rozeena has worked so hard to protect. 

Captivating and atmospheric,
Under the Tamarind Tree shows us the high-stakes ripple effects of generational trauma, and the lengths people will go to protect the ones they love.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Evocative and rich in detail, Alam's graceful prose transports you to a rarely seen world and time and leaves you reeling as she reveals its heartbreaking secrets. A beautiful, unforgettable novel." - Aamina Ahmad

"A suspenseful story of friendship, loyalty, and resilience... Alam deftly explores lives ruptured and reshaped by Partition, how historical and personal traumas shape us for generations... A compelling and immersive debut." - Marjan Kamali

"Tender and beautifully written... Alam explores class, family and passion in rich cultural detail. A captivating read." - Jean Kwok

"You can practically smell the courtyard's sweet bougainvillea and feel the Arabian Sea's misty breeze... Under the Tamarind Tree is historical fiction at its best, a story rich in fascinating historical details and deeply moving as well - a tale of friendship, family, and the power that new, unexpected relationships can have, even late in life, to heal old wounds." - Adele Myers

"A lush compelling drama... A reminder of how both sweeping historic events and personal secrets can shape lives and continue to reap consequences across the generations." - Charmaine Wilkerson

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