Friday 13 June 2014

The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti: a review

Name: The Almond Tree
Author: Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Page Count: 352

Back cover says: Against a background torn from the pages of today’s headlines, The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti recasts the Palestinians in Israel and Gaza, a people frequently in the news but often misrepresented and deeply misunderstood.

This stunning debut conveys a universal story of human courage and resolution. Comparable to Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, this novel delivers an inspirational story of unfathomable pain and incredible perseverance.
Gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, Ahmed Hamid struggles with knowing that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Living on occupied land, his entire village operates in fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, the people fear losing each other.
On Ahmed’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality. With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ahmed begins an inspiring journey using his intellect to save his poor and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence and loss, and discovers a new hope for the future.
The Almond Tree humanizes a culture and brings characters from a distant land to life.

On the name & cover:
The name itself sends a tickling sensation down the spine. After completing the whole book I can very easily say this is the best possible name for this piece of art. The role the tree has conveyed in this book makes the name perfect.
The font in which the title has been printed and the chocolaty shade in the cover makes this book an instant hit among the readers. The cover gives the book an intense feeling which is very much needed for the book. Overall the name and the cover creates a fabulous impression among the readers.

On the narrating style:
While reading the book I forgot that this is a debut work of an author. The narrating style reminds me of the legendary writer KHALED HOSSEINI, very simple way to narrate a story which will definitely force the readers to complete the book in one go. The wonderfully crafted words are the second thing that will catch readers’ eyes after the smooth narrating style. It is added to the credit of the author that I can visualize each and every scene of the book. I loved the way she described each and every character from Amal, Abbas, and Hani to Ahmed and Sara. This is the way a story should be narrated.

On the story-line:
The whole story evolves around the main protagonist Ahmed Hamid, how he lost his land, his sisters and how he saved the rest of his family. The very first chapter starts with the death of Amal (sister of Ahmed), leaving the readers bewildered and making them realize that this book is going to be one wonderful read. As the story goes on and Ahmed’s twelfth birthday comes, the story picks up its speed. Ahmed’s baba was arrested by the police for storing arms illegally on the same date by the militaries, leaving Ahmed struggling with his family. The story will make readers laugh, cry and will take them to a startling journey. The author has very efficiently framed the conflict between Palestine and Israel. At first I was shocked to see an America based author writing a story about the conflict between Palestine and Israel. The story is wonderfully framed without pointing at anyone but showing the actual state of the conflict.

+ Point: The simple yet smooth narrating style and the gripping fast paced storyline.

- Point: I don’t think this work of fiction have anything to point out which can be called as the drawback of the book.

Final Words:
This debut work of Michelle Cohen Corasanti is definitely something which readers are going to cherish for decades. A lovely story of suppleness, faith and compassion which I am going to recommend to all my readers who are in search of a fascinating read.

A+  (Is there any thing more)

A+ (Excellent)    A (Very Good)      B+ (Good)        B (Average)      C (Below Average)

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