book cover of Such a Beautiful Thing to Behold
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Such a Beautiful Thing to Behold

A novel by

An inexplicable sickness. A small town cut off from the world. An unexpected community of survivors forges a family out of the despair, struggling against things known and unknown for survival and hope.

A mysterious plague known as the Grey grips the small village of Pilam, which the world has quarantined without pity. Laying waste to Pilam’s residents, the sickness saps its victims of strength, drains the color from their eyes, and kills all promise. Only the young are immune. But beyond the barricades and walls of soldiers—the manifestation of a nation’s terror—there are rumors of a cure. Dunka, the eldest son of a family reeling from the Grey, takes on the daunting task of leaving Pilam to find that cure for his siblings and save them before it’s too late.

His brother and sisters, however, have plans of their own. Navigating the chaos of violence, hunger, and death, each of them tries to make sense of the bleak circumstances, forging new bonds with other juvenile survivors left to their own devices. Now an unlikely family of six, they choose their own perilous paths, at first separately and then together, coming to terms with the decisions they make and the ghosts they cannot leave behind.

Umar Turaki’s gripping novel is a story of survival, love, and the human spirit’s tenacious capacity for wonder.

Genre: Science Fiction

Praise for this book

"Grim, beautiful - a stunning novel." - T L Huchu

"There is an aching beauty woven into the lyrical prose of this novel that lingers with the reader beyond the last page. Against the richly drawn canvas of a landscape rendered vividly and with meticulous detail, a story unfolds of a family and community faced with both outward and inner desolation. Compelled to untangle the difficult questions of what it means to be both human and humane in the face of unspeakable cruelty and horror, one is drawn in and held by their resilience, courage, vulnerability, and tenderness and the inimitable power of the ties that bind." - Colleen van Niekerk

"Such a Beautiful Thing to Behold is a stark, powerful novel about family, resilience, and survival in the face of nearly insurmountable odds. Turaki's engrossing storytelling will draw you in from the very first page, and the siblings' determination to escape their grim fates is as harrowing as it is hopeful, reminding us that even when faced with all matters of adversity and tragedy, humanity will still seek a way to forge ahead and prevail." - Kirthana Ramisetti

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