> Skip to content
  • Published: 14 December 2021
  • ISBN: 9781784164928
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

The Stray Cats of Homs

He refused to abandon his home. Even under siege. Even when everyone around him was leaving.

For fans of The Beekeeper of Aleppo and The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

'An absolutely riveting novel and a searing and incredibly important book. Storytelling at its best.' Donal Ryan

'A cat has seven souls in Arabic. In English cats have nine lives. You probably have both nine lives and seven souls, because otherwise I don't know how you've made it this far.'
Sami's childhood is much like any other - an innocent blend of family and school, of friends and relations and pets (including stray cats and dogs, and the turtle he keeps on the roof).

But with Syria at war with itself, nothing is really normal. And Sami's hopes for a better future are about to be ripped away.

Inspired by extraordinary true events, The Stray Cats of Homs is the story of a young man who will do anything to keep the dream of home alive. It is tender, wild, raw, and truly unforgettable.

  • Published: 14 December 2021
  • ISBN: 9781784164928
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Eva Nour

Eva Nour is a journalist writing under a pseudonym. She was inspired to write The Stray Cats of Homs, her debut novel, by meeting and falling in love with the real 'Sami'. Today the couple share a life together in Paris.

Praise for The Stray Cats of Homs

It's been a long time since a book kept me up all night, but Eva Nour's The Stray Cats of Homs did. A tender, yet wild and tangible testimony bearing witness to the tragedy in Syria.

Theodor Kallifatides, Award-winning author and Professor of Literature

An artistically flawless novel, written as an act of protest, but also as a poetic declaration of love.

Svenska Dagbladet

The Stray Cats of Homs is a study in survival and a portrayal of the utter hell of the Syrian war. The novel reveals what can never be told by the news reports.

Landskrona Posten

An extraordinary novel, filled with grief, warmth and love, that I recommend everyone to read.

Selma Stories

An absolutely riveting novel . . . a rare and precious humanizing of the terrible conflagration in Syria. Eva is a writer of the first order and this is a searing and incredibly important book, storytelling at its best.

Donal Ryan, author of FROM A LOW AND QUIET SEA (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards)

This warm, captivating and inspiring story shows that even the bottomless horrors of war-torn Syria are no match for the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit and the power of love and friendship.

Mike Thomson, author of SYRIA'S SECRET LIBRARY

The Stray Cats of Homs brings to life the human, inside story of one of the most brutal sieges in recent history, with Syria's Assad trying to break the will of young rebels daring to stand up to the dictator and taking refuge in an ancient city. The novel is as revealing as it is inspiring with its depictions of the lengths heroes will go to in search of personal freedom.

Mark Sullivan, author of BENEATH A SCARLET SKY

[The Stray Cats of Homs] burns and it stings; each sentence is an accusation - but to read it is to begin to pay a debt that all of us owe. If you can't alleviate the pain, the least you can do is not shut your eyes to the suffering.


Compelling and uncompromising.

BBC Radio 4 Sunday

One of the greatest successes of The Stray Cats of Homs is that it manages to explain the complexity of the war in Syria through Sami's eyes, without getting bogged down by exactly who did what and when.

The National

Incredible... a deeply interesting and loving recounting of not just Sami's experience, but the wider story of the people of Syria.

Sunday Business Post

Profoundly affecting and deeply soulful . . . This book will stay with me forever.

Ruth Jones, bestselling author of US THREE

[A] beautiful, heart-rending book.

Helen Paris, author of LOST PROPERTY

A vital and affecting narrative ... imbued with emotional and personal authenticity.

NB Magazine

Related titles