Skip to main content

No Turning Back

Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria

Rania Abouzeid

New York Times Notable Books of 2018

Financial Times Book of the Year

Award-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid presents reportage of unprecedented scope in this engaging, character-driven investigation that exposes the secret dealings that armed and betrayed an uprising.

Taking readers deep into Assad’s prisons, to clandestine meetings and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy, Abouzeid dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict, and lays bare the tragedy of the Syrian War through the stories of those seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country.

Based on more than five years of frontline reporting, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama that shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century’s greatest humanitarian disasters.

  • Publication date: January 10, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786075154
  • RRP: £10.99
  • Pages: 400
  • Publication date: March 15, 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786074171
  • RRP: £18.99
  • Pages: 400
  • Publication date: March 15, 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786074188
  • RRP: £5.99
  • Pages: 400


‘An extraordinary piece of reportage that explains the Syrian war through the stories of individuals caught up in the fighting. Abouzeid’s book has the gripping and tragic qualities of a first-rate novel.’

Financial Times Book of the Year

'Excellent... Probably the most perceptive journalistic account of the war so far... Abouzeid’s understated bravery and ability to merge into the background speak to the power of immersive eyewitness reporting, foregrounding the experience of the people she meets and writing with modesty.'

New York Review of Books

'An unparalleled account of the Syrian uprising, drawing on six years of immersive reporting.'

New Yorker

'A stunning take on Syria’s tragedy by the veteran Middle East reporter Rania Abouzeid... Abouzeid’s writing is clear, her analysis sharp, her sympathy deep as she answers this key question of our age.'

The Spectator

‘There is no better way to refocus on Syria than to read Rania Abouzeid’s book… What could simply be a standard journalistic device succeeds triumphantly because of the skill and sensitivity of Abouzeid’s writing, the depth of her reporting and the extraordinary nature of the stories she tells. As a result, her book has the compelling qualities of a novel, rather than simply a work of reportage…an extraordinary book that deserves to be read widely.’

Financial Times

'This is journalism at its very best: brave; personal; written with aching beauty.'

Lyse Doucet, BBC's Chief International Correspondent

‘Painfully gripping.’


'This narrative of the Syrian war from 2011 through 2016 offers page after page of extraordinary reporting and exquisite prose, rendering its individual subjects with tremendous intimacy.'

New York Times Notable Books of 2018

‘Offers page after page of extraordinary reporting and many flashes of exquisitely descriptive prose… Abouzeid’s remarkable journalistic and literary work has given us, at last, a book worthy of the enormous tragedy that is Syria.’

New York Times Book Review

‘For those confused by the country's descent into chaos and the myriad factions now battling it out for supremacy, it is indispensable... A masterpiece: a forensic, yet accessible anatomy of how a peaceful uprising was hijacked by external forces who cared less about ridding Syria of dictator Bashar al-Assad than furthering their own agendas… Abouzeid writes compellingly throughout.’

Big Issue

'[No Turning Back] offers page after page of extraordinary reporting and exquisite prose, rendering its individual subjects with tremendous intimacy.'

New York Times, '8 Books We Recommend this Week'

'Eloquent and devastating … Abouzeid relates the drama of this chaos in gripping prose.'

Christian Science Monitor

Rania Abouzeid

Rania Abouzeid has spent more than fifteen years reporting on the Middle East, and has written for The New Yorker, the Guardian and TIME magazine among others. A former New America fellow, she has won several international prizes for her work including the Frontline Club Print Award, the Michael Kelly Award and George Polk Award. Rania grew up in Australia and now lives in Beirut, Lebanon.

Author page

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletters to find out more about our latest books and offers, straight to your inbox.

Select mailing lists