A timeless classic novel, last published in 1970, one that keeps being rediscovered and adored by new generations of readers who find it both a bewitching romantic novel of love and adventure and a fascinating insight into the gulf between East and West.
Ali and Nino live in the cosmopolitan, oil-rich city of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. Although others might see the First World War looming, Ali and Nino are too embroiled in finishing their exams and falling in love with each other to notice. There are many impediments to their marriage: Ali is a Shiite Muslim with a fierce belief in the traditions and religion of his race; Nino is a sophisticated, westernised Georgian girl - and a Christian; there is little likelihood that she would want to end up in a harem. But Ali and Nino love each other and their love overcomes all cultural difference.
They get caught up in the political events that are sweeping through the Caucasus as Russia withdraws, the Turks invade and individual states assert their nationhood. Ali must defend the Orient while Nino flees towards Europe.