Anbara Salam

Mission House wasn't built for three people.

Especially when one of them won't stop humming.


1954, the South Pacific.

When Beatriz Hanlon agreed to accompany her missionary husband Max to a remote island, she knew there would be challenges. But it isn't just the heat and the humidity and the insects. And then there are the awful noises coming from the church at night.

Bea slowly grows accustomed to life on the island. That is, until an unexpected and interminably humming guest arrives, and the couple's claustrophobic existence is stretched to breaking point.

Events draw to a terrible climax, and Bea watches as her husband begins muttering about unseen things lurking in the jungle. Before long, Bea finds herself fighting for her freedom, and her life.

"The rainforest reeked of a complex confection of decay. Bea could smell the rotting trail of smashed papayas that littered the coastal path, and the musk from the warm, hairy bodies of the two long-limbed black monkeys wheezing in the coconut palms. And there was the damp mustiness of her clothes. It didn't matter how often she soaked, and pressed, and hung, and scrubbed, and rinsed them. She stank of the treacly mildew of the jungle."

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Release date 5 Apr 2018

Things Bright and Beautiful
By Anbara Salam
'This book is so rich in detail, the rainforest so immersive, and the characters so wonderfully odd, that I was sucked into its dark beating heart and wasn't spat out until I'd turned the final page.' 
- Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days and Swimming Lessons
'A vivid account . . . The island setting and the rainforest are compellingly evoked, along with the claustrophobic backdrop of religious mania and a dysfunctional marriage - an impressive debut' 
-Penelope Lively
'Dark, mysterious, beguiling'
- Dolly Alderton

'Examining the true nature of religious missions and a marriage in crisis, this is a vividly drawn and powerful novel'

'A darkly comic and thrilling novel...Literal Escapism' 

-Elle Magazine



'A richly textured novel, darkly humorous and atmospheric, this debut about fanaticism and marital crisis is one to watch out for'

 -Book Riot

'A hot and sticky, feverishly Lord Of The Flies-style debut...I wouldn’t be surprised if English teachers use it as a masterclass in descriptive prose'

 -The Pool

'An excellent, blackly funny debut ... a novel whose growing environmental and psychological horrors you can feel crawling across your skin'

-Daily Mail

'Thrilling…Oozing with vivid descriptions and a deeply claustrophobic atmosphere, this debut is quite unlike anything else you’ll read this year.'

-Heat Magazine

'Things Bright and Beautiful is a claustrophobic compelling read that’ll suck you into its heart of darkness'


'A phenomenally disturbing international melodrama'

-The Spectator

'Lyrical, suspenseful, darkly comic'