Author(s): P.J. Fry
It is 1977. Leila Ashrawi, from a middle-class Palestinian family dispossessed during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, and John Ferris, a New Zealand Army captain serving as a UN military observer on the Israel-Lebanon border, meet and fall in love. Amidst confusion and violence the couple's plan to make a new life together on the other side of the world comes only at the expense of great anguish and desperation. There is page-turning drama and heart-stopping tension here, and first-class writing, but also humour, comradeship and, above all, a deeply moving love story that stretches across more than two decades.
Peter Fry has experienced civil and military conflict throughout the world. A New Zealand Army officer, he was seconded to the UN in the Middle East, where he served as a military observer on the borders of Egypt, Syria, Israel and Lebanon. Following career service in New Zealand and South East Asia he joined the UN as an international security adviser, working in Iraq, East Timor, the North West Pacific, Somalia, Pakistan and at UN Headquarters in New York. In 2012 Peter retired from the UN and returned to Christchurch to be with his wife, Elizabeth, and to indulge his interest in writing, military history, painting and tramping - and his passion for pursuing trout.