The Almond Tree
This is the story of a young Palestinian boy who makes a mark in this world with his intelligence and resilience. Even with the army throwing obstacles along his entire path, Ichmad manages to get himself and his family into a better future. The story begins with a 12 year old Ichmad witnessing the death of his young sister because of a land mine. The helplessness of war, the atrocities of the soldiers and the fragile lives of his family hanging between life and death are portrayed so well in this book that you can’t help but live his life with him.
The loss of another sister, his father going into jail, he losing his wife and up to the point that sees himself winning the Nobel Prize in Phyiscs. The story shows an entire lifetime of Ichmad and how he manages to live his dream despite the cruelties of war. Being forced to fend for his family since the age of 12, an injured brother who turns a rebel later on and fights with the revolution, this book shows it all. About how he managed to control his hatred and brought himself to love and trust again and how despite all odds he makes a life for himself and his family.
The book is an inspiration for sure. He made it out of the life of misery because of his brilliant mind, but the book also talks about another brilliant young mind, who gives his life to prove a point in the revolution. There in lies the strong will power and the patience Ichmad possessed and which got him to be successful in life. Of course with the backing of his father and his beloved teacher who helped by noticing the genius in him and encouraging him to chase his dreams.
I never read war stories. There is enough crime happening around us already. But this book although depicting the cruelties of war, manages to stay loyal to telling the story of a young man caught between life, responsibilities, his dream and a war.
I rate it 5 stars for its language, the story it told and the ease with which it was told.
Read the original review on Joyothi’s Day Out Blog.