Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Review - The Almond Tree

Author: Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Publisher: Garnet Publishing
Publication date: September 1st, 2012
Format: Paperback
Cover Source: Goodreads.

Gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, Ichmad Hamid struggles with the knowledge that he can do nothing to save his Palestinian friends and family. Ruled by the Israeli military government, the entire village operates in fear of losing homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, they fear losing each other. On Ichmad's twelfth birthday, that fear becomes a reality. With his father imprisoned, his family's home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to the dangers of war, Ichmad begins the endless struggle to use his intellect to save his poor and dying family and reclaim a love for others that was lost when the bombs first hit."The Almond Tree" capitalizes on the reader's desire to be picked up and dropped off in another part of the world. It tackles issues that many Americans only hear about on World News or read about at The Huffington Post, such as the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the scholasticide that is being imposed upon the Palestinians in Gaza and the current Gaza blockade. But even more, it offers hope.

 Won this via goodreads first-reads! Thank you Goodreads and Michelle!

Having lived in the middle-east myself, I happened to hear more about the Palestine-Israel conflict than most might have. Even then I was certainly not prepared to read about the suffering faced by the barricaded Palestinians.

Though this is a fictional account, it gives a very real picture of how the people have been affected by war. Corasanti spins a horrifyingly beautiful tale about the hardships and how Ichmad deals and faces every situation from sustaining and supporting his family at the age of twelve to trying to fulfill his father's and his own dream of acheiving something better.

 It begins with the death of twelve-year old Ichmad Hamid's baby sister Amal. The story goes on to tell about the family's dire state, nothing seems to go right for them. They lose their home, Ichmad's father ends up in prison, the sons drop out of school to work. Ichmad uses his brilliant mind to educate himself, and help his family out of the trap of desolateness. 
You go along with Ichmad through all the highs and lows from childhood to adulthood. The Almond Tree in itself plays an important providing food, shelter and representing the ever present hope of the Palestinians, that the suffering will end.

I have nothing much to say other than, Read This Book. It does much more than provide facts, it leads us through a life. Pick this one up.

Rating : 4 Quills

quill design: QioDen
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