Ceremony of Innocence | Granta

  • Published: 01/07/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783787494
  • Granta Books
  • 400 pages

Ceremony of Innocence

Madeleine Bunting

A Cambridge PhD student called Reem has gone missing in Egypt. Those close to her fear that her investigation into her family’s history in the Gulf has put her in danger. The trail leads back to Tehran in 1969, when diplomat Martin Wilcox Smith, frustrated by his career at the Foreign Office, looked for more lucrative opportunities in the region.

Decades later, decisions taken by Martin and his charismatic wife Phoebe unexpectedly come home to roost: their niece takes in a Bahraini lodger who has reasons to question the immense wealth of the Wilcox Smiths, a quest shared with their daughter-in-law, a journalist who is determined to piece together what has happened to Reem.

An evocative and engrossing story that travels between the Shah’s Iran, modern Bahrain, London and the English countryside, Ceremony of Innocence explores one family’s ambition in the aftermath of empire and the establishment’s ruthless pursuit of power in the new world order.

The Author

Madeleine Bunting was for many years a columnist for the Guardian, which she joined in 1990. Bunting read History at Cambridge and Politics at Harvard. She is the author of many non-fiction books, including The Plot: A Biography of My Father’s English Acre, which won the Portico Prize, and Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey, which was shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize and the Saltire Non-Fiction Book of the Year. She has also written a novel, Island Song. She lives in London.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Madeleine Bunting on Granta.com

Fiction | Granta Books

Island Song

Madeleine Bunting

An extract from Madeleine Bunting’s first novel.

Essays & Memoir | Granta Books

The Politics of English Forgetfulness

Madeleine Bunting

‘Brexit demonstrates one of England’s most trusted strategies of power: deliberate forgetfulness.’