Blue Poppies

Publisher: Delta
Jonathan Falla weaves a powerful tale of love and war, exile and homecoming...and of one man’s desire to lose himself in a foreign land, only to find himself caught in a time of chaos and change.

Blue Poppies

The year is 1950 and, as the world recovers from the ravages of World War II, the Chinese army is perched on the border of a fragile land awaiting its destiny. Jamie Wilson, a young Scottish wireless operator and veteran of the war, has just arrived in the remote Tibetan village of Jyeko. He has come on business--to establish a radio outpost--but his journey will resonate much more deeply.

Like those who have traveled to this place before him, Jamie, the Ying-gi-li, is mesmerized by the majestic mountain ranges and enigmatic people, but he will also find an uncommon refuge in its unyielding beauty and in the arms of the willful Puton, a young widow cast out by the people of Jyeko. Inexorably drawn together by a shared loneliness, Jamie and Puton discover a rare passion and the promise of reconnection and belonging--until the voice of Radio Peking crackles over the airwaves, announcing the imminent advance of the Chinese army. Amid the ensuing violence and tumult, Jamie and Puton must embrace their fate and that of the remarkable land that has brought them together. What lies before them and the people of Jyeko is a harrowing journey across a breathtaking landscape...and an extraordinary tale of pride and loyalty, survival and awakening.


Chapter One

Before the Chinese burned Jyeko village, a tax official from Lhasa stayed there. For years no revenue had reached the capital from that remote corner of Tibet's eastern province of Kham. So, in 1948, Lhasa sent its own collector. It was a four-month journey into ever more resentful districts. But...
Read More


“Falla’s world is a phenomenally big place. His vivid and authoritative fiction offers us the chance to experience cultures that are exhilaratingly, sometimes frighteningly different from our own.”
--Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and The White

“An engaging historical tale intelligently and imaginatively told.”
--The Times Literary Supplement (London)

"Talent that invades the senses...Falla is fine and unflowery writer who delivers a punchy plot free of misty-eyed sentiment."
--The Herald (London)

"Falla renders a bewitching read, stirring up a multitude of emotions from love to anger to disgust. You can't help but support this novel's fine characters in their long journey to freedom."
--The List (London)

"A masterly piece of storytelling, written in a lyrical, deceptively simple way."
--The Northern Times (United Kingdom)

"Blue Poppies is an accomplished story as good as any we'll see this year. With works of such quality , the Scottish literary renaissance may be upon us."
--The Herald (Edinburgh)

"An epic love story, Falla's debut novel utterly confounds the stereotype. It is assured, confident, without a trace of self-indulgence. You'll be lucky to read a better one this year."
--The Scotsman (Edinburgh)