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 ~ Goodreads
Recently, my dad asked what I was reading and I replied “The Almond Tree”. His response was “That sounds boring”. He could not be farther from the truth. You should never judge a book by its title.
From the start it is made clear that The Almond Tree is a dark, heartbreaking story of adversity, race and being able to rise above it all.
The Almond Tree, strangely enough reminds me of Life of Pi minus the animals and the raft. Huh you may ask, where is the comparison? I find the lead characters, Pi and Ichmad to be of the same mold and fictional or no are someone to look up to. Thus, when he befalls hard times a little bit of the reader in me died.
In all honesty The Almond Tree made me sad. Although I could not stop reading, longing to hear Ichmad’s story, rooting for him all the way, and just when I thought there was a speck of light at the end of the tunnel, BAM, his brother is gravely injured or BAM his wife is killed. Seriously? Talk about kicking a dog when it’s down. What added insult to injury (for me) was the fact that he always put others before himself, living in a borderline dump while studying in the U.S. in order to send money home to his family and agreeing to an arranged marriage because he knows it would make them happy. Aww, where can I find one of those?
I wish I could say The Almond Tree had a happy ending but I found it bittersweet. Ichmad becomes successful and happy in his marriage. As for his brother, I wish I could say the same. Crippled and bitter after his accident he has gone underground only to resurface years later in Gaza. The descriptions of the environment there had my eyes wide open and shocked beyond words. Devastation that can only end in heartbreak. The Almond Tree reminds you that the world is not a perfect place and stays with you long after the last page has been turned.
Read the original review on http://she-is-too-fond-of-books.blogspot.ca/2013/09/the-almond-tree-by-michelle-cohen.html