Whitbread Novel of the Year
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize
Under an endless and unforgiving sky, four travellers enter the Judean desert in search of redemption. Instead, amidst the barren rocks, they are met by a dangerous man, Musa, and fall under his dark influence. But there is a fervent, solitary figure also sharing their landscape, denying the temptations of his neighbours, and, ultimately, the needs of his own body. So begin forty days and nights in one of the most unhospitable terrains on earth.