Cover Image: The Family Tree

The Family Tree

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Member Reviews

This beautifully written story follows the lives of the members of a British/Pakistani family and their community with all the ups and downs of family life. It includes many difficult issues they face like grief, bullying, racism, prejudice, and parenting. What shines through though is the support of family and community, hope and love.
Thanks to netgalley for the arc
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This is at heart a story about family and it’s a great debut. It’s the second book I’ve read this year that is an unconventional love story. Hussein tells the love story of a British Muslim family living in West Yorkshire. We follow Amjad and his two children, from the birth of the youngest, Zahra. Amjad moved his family out of the inner city, towards an area with better rated schools, when Zahra was almost due. However, what should have been a happy time for the family became a nightmare as his wife haemorrhaged after the birth and tragically died. With help from his mum and best friend he learns to be a lone parent and Zahra becomes his purpose in life. We follow Zahra and her older brother Saahil in the years that follow I fell in love with this family and I loved grandmother Ammi, who came to Britain as a young bride and has built this loving, supportive family. 

Within this story Hussein also addresses complex family and community issues such faith and racial identity. Despite being the second generation of this family born in the U.K., Zahra and Saahil still experience prejudice. The issue of white privilege comes to the fore; how can white British people acknowledge something they’re not aware of. Unless you’ve faced oppression and how it affects your day to day to life, how can you acknowledge it exists? I acquired a disability in my early twenties but it was only recently that I felt different, after receiving verbal abuse in the street. Now I see ableism all the time, especially since the political climate changed in this country. Until you live it, you can’t know it. This family do know it. As they move into their new home, Amjad is very aware that this is a street where white British families live too, He comments that it’s the type of multi-cultural area he wanted for his family, rather than staying in the area of town his mother first came to as a bride. However, even as he carries the first box over the threshold his white neighbour looks at him and Amjad feels like he should say sorry, just for being there. 

Mostly though, what the family faces is universal. It’s about love and how events, especially tragedy, change family relationships. I identified with their struggle to get past the anger and confusion about this tragedy. I was so invested in whether they could find a way back together. It felt honest, current and incredibly moving. I’d also like to say that the cover of this book is absolutely stunning. I would be compelled to pick it up in a bookshop. I loved the way the intertwining pattern of nature represents the intertwined roots of a family. It reminded me of the Kahlil Gibran quote about two trees standing separately, while their roots under the earth are so interlocked they can’t be separated. I also liked the link of its design to Zahra’s mother’s shawl - the last thing she wears when she dies and the first thing that wraps round Zahra.
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Your roots can always lead you home…

Amjad cradles his baby daughter in the middle of the night. He has no time to mourn his wife’s death. Saahil and Zahra, his two small children, are relying on him. Amjad vows to love and protect them always.

Years later, Saahil and his best friend, Ehsan, have finished university and are celebrating with friends. But when the night turns dangerous, its devastating effects will ripple through the years to come.

Zahra’s world is alight with politics and activism. But she is now her father’s only source of comfort, and worries she’ll never have time for her own aspirations. Life has taken her small family in different directions – will they ever find their way back to each other?

The Family Tree is the moving story of a British Muslim family full of love, laughter and resilience as well as all the faults, mistakes and stubborn loyalties which make us human.

My thoughts about this brilliant emotional gripping family novel was outstanding debut author Sairish Hussains The Family Tree is a heart touching story that deals with love family sacrifice and other issues such as drugs and racism that is mindblowing it really touched my heart it also took me on a journey through out the 1990s all the way through to 2020 an epic tale that is truly a masterpiece I hope this is a TV show or a movie I had learnt alot from this book it also teaches as to be a good human all an all brilliantly written fantastic novel can not wait what Sairish writes next ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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4☆ Authentic, Poignant, Gripping, Heart Warming Family Saga. A Must Read!

The Family Tree is a heart warming and poignant story about family, the trials and tribulations of life.

It's very much a coming of age Story that follows Sahill and his family through loss, grief, bullying, prejudice, Culture, Friendships and Family Drama.
But what shines through more than anything is the love and support they have for each other. 

The plot is Authentic, Highly Compelling, At times Witty, Relatable, Poignant and Heart Warming.
I loved the multiple characters which were all wonderfully written, endearing and believable.
It's very hard to believe this is Sairish Hussain's Debut Novel, you can see how much dedication, love and passion has gone into writing The Family Tree.
I am very excited to read more!

I also just want to take a second to admire the book cover, it's gorgeous and very eye catching.

So if you are looking for a beautifully written Family Saga that is Emotional, Deals with Real Life, Is Witty, and will have you Gripped and invested in the Characters Lives then you will adore this heart warming story.


Thank you to HQ DIGITAL for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I knew it was going to be about family and love, but I don't think that I was prepared for the magnitude of this story. Even when it turned up on my doorstep at over 500 pages long, I still didn't anticipate how spectacular it would be...

Starting in 1993 and ending in 2017, we follow a British Muslim family through a wealth of life events and happenings. In a lot of ways they are not the luckiest family in the world, but in having eachother they are luckier than many. 

We dive straight into the story on page one and Sairish's moving narrative and character building continues throughout the entire book. There's no waffle or gap filling, it is just beautiful story telling start to finish.

I adored the amount of little details in this book because it made me feel as if I were really there. "Zahra pursed her lips. She clipped and unclipped the buttons on her duvet, thinking" You could feel, hear and taste (i drank a lot of chai tea reading this) every moment, emotion and family meal! 

I learnt about Muslim Culture, about the importance of family and living by your morals and beliefs. It was beautiful and liberating and I'm grateful to have experienced it a little through this book. 

Undoubtedly this is a moving story, but you will experience pretty much every emotion reading this, from anger to elation, frustration to horror. It is a complete roller-coaster and I may have shed a tear once or twice... I will miss these characters enormously especially Zahra who is intelligent, tenacious, loving and resilient! 

But, i think one of the quotes on the back of this book sums it up so perfectly. This is a story "of the extraordinary in ordinary lives and of love and complexity in family"

An enormous 5 ⭐'s from me & my favourite book so far this year.
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This story moves through the decades as Amjad and his two young children come to terms with the death of his wife, their mother. As Saahil's life is destroyed by another tragedy and then as Zahra faces her own difficulties as a young woman.

At the very core this is a story about family. About their love for each other and how their culture both defines, cultivates and both strengthens or weakens it. How family relationships change when they are put under immense pressure or go through a traumatic experience.

Hussain doesn't stop there though - she uses this story of family to broach topics that are at the very heart of societies that struggle with multicultural identities.

Privilege, specifically white privilege, can't be changed if those with privilege are unable to comprehend what their privilege entails or what it means in the grand scheme of life. I often see comments saying that it isn't the job of minorities or non-whites to teach white people what privilege means. My answer to that is - you can't expect them to acknowledge something they aren't even aware of, because they don't have to deal with oppression, racism, discrimination on a daily basis.

They have no clue what it's like to not even make the shortlisting pile because the colour of their skin is too dark, their name sounds too foreign, their religion or race conjures up stereotypical tropes. To be the token person that a company needs to have to show they are diverse.

The author blends these issues that define the professional lives of both Zahra and Saahil into the story, as they also struggle to survive the anger and misconceptions of the trauma that keeps them apart.

It hit the right emotional tone for me. It has the frank and honest feel of a family in the midst of a struggle. It hurts at times, it brings tears to the eyes and it also makes you smile. It's a contemporary cultural read about family.
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The Family Tree is a beautifully written and emotional book which in a lot of ways reads as a coming of age story. It’s a story that drew me in from the first page and was heart warming but also shocking.

I absolutely loved Saahil’s wonderful family, with some of the scenes being so beautifully written that I felt I was actually there sharing the moment with them. Through them we learn more about their culture and what it is like to grow up in England when you’re from a minority religion. It was very sad to read about some of the experiences Saahil had whilst growing up. I really wished I could reach into the book and give him a huge hug at times.

I think this is a very important book which everyone should read as it would challenge people’s attitudes and the prejudices they have. It would make a great book club read as I think there would be lots to discuss. I don’t want to go into the story too much as I don’t want to spoil it for future readers but this is definitely a fabulous book which I will be recommending to everyone!

Huge thanks to HQ Stories for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.
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This is a good story of a family. Their sadnesses, loves, and events happening in their lives. I like reading family sagas. And this was very well written, gripping one.  

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy.
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Really well written book. This is a story about a family and their sadness, love and hope. There are strong characters and it is definitely a page turner. I didn’t want it to end.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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A sincere thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing me an ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I enjoyed this story very much and felt like I knew each character personally due to the description of them. I enjoyed the storyline. This is not my usual genre but in this instance I am extremely pleased and grateful for opening up my mind to something totally different. Thanks again.
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A beautifully written story. I found the themes in this book, which were largely centred around immigration, family and culture were very realistic and engaging.

I liked the range of characters including their flaws and the viewpoint of some of the worlds most memorable events from their perspective very interesting and thought provoking 

Thanks for letting me review this book
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I have been spoiled with excellent reads recently so it I don't say this lightly but this was a phenomenal book.
I loved the complex lives detailed within one family and their extended friendships throughout the decades. This is a love story but not about romance but about family. How we can suffer great tragedies, lose our way, lean on each other etc. 
Each generation had their struggles and we're all endearing in their own ways. I felt lost once I had reached the last page.

Brave, beautiful and badass.
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Thank you NetGalley and HQ for a copy of The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain.
This is a beautifully written, emotional story about a British Muslim family from February 1993 to present day.  The story starts with the birth of Zahra and the loss of her mother and dad Amjad single handily bringing her up and son Sahill. It tells us the views of Muslims and what they thought of 9/11. On the night of Sahil’s graduation from University tragedy strikes and Sahill disappears for a decade. With the loss of her brother Zahra grows up fast and her father struggles with the loss of his son.
WOW this is an excellent debut novel by Sairish Hussain. She has written this as if she has been writing for a long time. It gave me an insight of a Muslim family, the struggles the prejudices that that have experienced. This is well worth the read.
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This book is similar to ‘a tree grows in Brooklyn’ it’s set from the 1990’s-2020’s. It shows how one family in Britain deals with grief, expectations and how they can change a person over time.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was drawn in during the first chapter and the pace of the story was perfect, pulling me in deeper until I couldn’t put it down! 

I loved the family unit of Saahil, Amjad and Zahra, along with grandmother Ammi. They seemed completely believable and I gained a deeper understanding of the culture as I read. 

The story takes us from the birth of Zahra onwards. Starting pre 9/11, we see how the events of that day affected our characters and the world around them. Finally, tragedy leads to a shock decision and a family in tatters. I won’t say more for fear of spoiling this excellent read!

Beautifully written throughout, Sairish Hussain has created a truly stunning book and I look forward to reading further works by this talented author. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for my copy of this book.
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This was such a heartwarming, emotional and heartbreaking book to read. The story had such a grip on me that I found myself tearful on some occasions and shocked, waiting for something good to happen during times of such heartbreak. @sairish.hussain has done a wonderful job with The Family Tree and it was so nice to read of an ethnic minority family dealing with life challenges. I could really relate to Zahra and big brother Saahil's relationship which added to how emotional it was for me.
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This was a wonderful read.A book about family struggles surviving struggling through sadness and what life brings the,m .I became so involved in their story I didn’t want it to end.#netgalley#ha
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This is a lovely well written story. Full of strong loveable characters that define life experiences. In places it was a little slow but the whole story and enjoyment of the book made up for that. 

Highly recommended read. 

Thank you HQ and NetGalley.
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