After long, separate journeys, an Iraqi grandfather and his granddaughter arrive in England. They live with a relation in Great Yarmouth but find their new circumstances confusing and uncertain, causing the girl to take drastic action. In Norwich a widower is trying to build himself a new life, and his bird watching and oboe playing become routes to unexpected meetings and events.
"The Reed Flute" vividly depicts a winter journey upstream along the bank of the Yare in which the three main characters are nourished as much by the slow river and the subtle beauty of Broadland as by memory, hope and faith.
"The need for a sense of belonging is the core theme of the book - belonging to a place as well as in personal relationships."
East Anglian Daily Times
Extract from The Reed Flute
I closed my eyes, let myself be driven as I had done for weeks. May this, I prayed, be the end of the journey. May there be no more travelling. Over the last twenty months there had been times when I longed to be back in the refugee camp in Iran, despite the lack of purpose and the frozen winters. Our journey by boat, by truck, on foot had seemed endless. No, not twenty months of travel, for we spent at least three months in Turkey, waiting in a cellar for a contact who would move us on, and then six weeks in a grey, concrete house in Greece, where, if it had not been for a tree outside the window and the small brown birds which gathered in it each evening, I might have given up. And then things moved suddenly and within a week we were in England.