Having just finished reading “The Almond Tree” by new author Michelle Cohen Corasanti, I can honestly state that it is, without a doubt, one of the most riveting books I have read during the past several months. Corasanti takes a realistic premise and builds an interesting and highly believable story that only gets better as the pages fly by. While “The Almond Tree” is a fictional tale, much of it is based on the truth of what is today’s world, and as such there is also an important message located within.
Throughout “The Almond Tree” we, the reader, follow the life of Ichmad Hamid. Ichmad is Palestinian and he and his large family live on occupied land. Once upon a time, the people of Ichmad’s small town used to sell citrus and olives to the neighboring villages. The people of his town were not rich, but they had everything that they really needed. However, things changed dramatically once the Jews arrived and shortly thereafter Palestinian businesses were lost, homes were lost and many, many lives were lost. Ichmad’s family was unfortunate enough to experience all of these tragedies multiple times.
Luckily for Ichmad, he was gifted with mathematical brilliance, and thankfully, the majority of Ichmad’s elders realized the importance of this blessing. They encouraged him to pursue higher academic learning, rather than to just learn to survive in a war and hatred ravaged world. Of course Ichmad battled with his sense of ingrained duty to stay and provide for his family, but he also realized that he could provide for them so much better if he got an education.
I do not want to give away any more of the story, but I do highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read. Corasanti has written a phenomenal tale, and she holds the reader’s attention completely; making this book almost impossible to set down.
In summary, “The Almond Tree” was an amazing book and as such, I have placed it in the “must read” category. Definitely deserving of all five stars…
The Almond Tree
Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Garnet Publishing (2012)
Reviewed by Charline Ratcliff for Rebecca’s Reads (11/12)