Some novels require that you patiently wait until you are drawn into the story. This is not one of those novels. The Almond Tree pulls you in from the outset and doesn’t let you go. This is a gripping and beautifully told story of perseverance and hope in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
The writing is crafted in a way that increases in emotional depth as you read. Corasanti’s storytelling demands that you connect with and care for her characters but not just from a place of subjective pity. I appreciate that she also demonstrates the intricacies of the human condition in the face of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.
For example, the protagonist, Ichmad, is honorable, even admirable, but not without flaws. Even with his successes he still makes mistakes, experiences growing pains and overcomes inner struggles. Even main characters that one might brand as villains are presented in multi-dimensional form. Through the writing you come to see the circumstances that fuel the emotions of fear, love, anger and hate. You also see that these emotions are neither static nor definitive measures of one’s character.
In my opinion this is a story about truth and how truth is relative. Moreover, in the face of that particular truth, human beings use the tools are at their disposal to live, adjust to horrific circumstances and sculpt a future that improves on the present.
The Almond Tree offers a message of hope and achievement despite the default position of conflict. If you haven’t done so I encourage you to read this story. It is as transformative as it is inspiring.
Read the original review on http://honeylemontea.com/2013/12/26/book-review-the-almond-tree-by-michelle-cohen-corasanti/