‘Everything good in the world can grow here’, my uncle once said and I think he must have been right because I used to think that all the fruits of the world grew in that garden … almost everything I loved grew in that place.’
Shifting between the cosmopolitan city of London and the ghostly back-drop of war-torn Kashmir, a beautiful valley in northern India and site of the world’s most militarised territorial dispute, Liyana struggles to retrieve the lost White House of her childhood. No longer the colourful playground of the past, Kashmir decays with conflict while the rest of the world progresses forward at a dizzying pace. With the loss of childhood innocence comes the growing pains of a divided world and Liyana's struggle to reaffirm harmony. The White House is a story of love, loss and longing - a modern day odyssey that explores the challenge of finding 'home' in the twenty first century.
The title of the book was inspired by the name of Shama's grandparents’ home in Kashmir (pictured below), which she used to visit as a child before the conflict began.