Tuesday, December 10, 2013

#BookReview : The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

On the jacket:

The Almond Tree is an epic novel, a drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner, but set in Palestine. A beauty..I predict it will become one of the biggest best sellers of the decade. Huffington Post. 

Michelle Cohen Corasanti delivers a universal story of human courage and perseverance in her debut novel, The Almond Tree. Beginning in a small rural village, a young boy named Ichmad comes of age from the 1950’s to 2010 in a journey of enlightenment and understanding of the climate that surrounds him.
The Almond Tree is an inspirational story of unfathomable pain and an incredible perseverance. The Almond Tree humanizes a culture and brings characters from a distant land to life, with a family united by love but divided by their personal beliefs. From Ichmad’s staunchly traditional and at times overbearing mother, to his father who believes in the power of education, the crux of the family’s story lies in the growing dispute between two brothers who choose very different paths in order to create a new future.
The Almond Tree brings humanity and clarity to the Arab-Israeli conflict and reveals themes of redemption and family sacrifice. Michelle Cohen Corasanti’s personal experience of living in Israel for seven years while attending high school and obtaining her undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern studies from the Hebrew University lends her the perspective, insight and ability to shed new light on a controversial history. The Almond Tree showcases the resilience of the human spirit and brings forth a message of the necessity of education and a plan for peace in the conflict.


The Almond Tree is Michelle Cohen Corasanti's debut novel. It's a work of fiction but a few pages into it, it will seem like anything but fiction.

A tale set in Palestine, I couldn't read it at a stretch. Here we are in India, in a society which is moving backwards and there, there is Ahmed, with his family, in a society which is stuck somewhere so beyond, it would take ages for a forward movement to even begin. Authors don't write much about the oppressed people in society, specially if it's a whole country of people. 

Young boy, Ahmed Hamid is our protagonist. The day he was born, all his relatives were driven out of their village by the Israeli military. Ahmed has grown believing Israelis are enemies and at a very tender age, he has witnessed his family being killed by the soldier, even his own father on the night of his birthday.

The best part of the book is that the narration is through Ahmed's eyes, a child's eyes and hence is full of attention to detail. The tiniest things which only an observant child will observe, has been mantioned in the narration. 

Ahmed grows up to fight for his people. The Almond Tree plays a pivotal role in the story. A very heart touching tale; it will pull into selected strings of your heart, for sure.

Rating: ****/5

[This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com ]

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