'Build them a mosque, beta. Build them a mosque.'
For years Bilal Hasham and his wife Mariam have lived contented, quiet lives in the sleepy rural village of Babbel's End. Now all that is about to change.
On her deathbed, Bilal's mother reaches for his hand. Instead of whispering her final prayers, she gives him a task: build a mosque in his country village.
Mariam is horrified by Bilal's plan. His friends and neighbours are unnerved. As outrage sweeps Babbel's End, battle lines are drawn. His mother's dying wish reveals deeper divisions in their village than Bilal had ever imagined.
Soon Bilal is forced to choose between community and identity, between faith and friendship, between honouring his beloved mother's last wish and preserving what is held dear in the place that he calls home.
'At the heart of this book lies the simple question: who decides to who and what we belong? This is Malik's best work to date – satirical, controversial, knowing and essential' – Vaseem Khan
'This Green and Pleasant Land, a novel that simmers with tenderness, is a deeply relevant book that is bound to ruffle a fair few feathers, but the right feathers, and for the right reasons' – Caroline O'Donoghue
'Thoughtful, funny, excellently written and deserves to be read by everyone . . . it's the standout book of the year' – Abir Mukherjee