Longlisted for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize Journalist Katerina Knight longs to know why her grandmother, Mariam, so rarely speaks about her family and childhood. When Mariam dies suddenly, she inherits a journal and handwritten letters stashed in a wooden spice box, cryptic treasures written in Armenian, Mariam's mother tongue. On a spring break in Cyprus, Katerina meets Ara, a young Armenian man, who agrees to act as translator, and an extraordinary tale unfolds. In 1915, aged seven, Mariam was expelled from her home in Eastern Turkey and separated from her family, her life scarred by tragedy, exile and the loss of her first love. As a child, she witnessed the murder of her beloved brother, Gabriel, or so she believed. In fact, Gabriel survived and is living in the heart of a bustling Armenian community not so far away. Soured by experience, he is an uncompromising character, a stickler for tradition determined to stop his granddaughter from marrying outside the culture. A fact-finding trip across the island brings Katerina face to face with the great uncle she thought was dead, but another miracle is on the horizon. Katerina unearths a family secret that changes her life and lays the ghosts of her grandmother's turbulent past to rest.