An epic novel, a drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner….
I predict (The Almond Tree) will become one of the biggest bestsellers of the decade…
…an epic drama of the proportions of The Kite Runner, but set in Palestine. A story that grabs you from the first page and makes your heart go out to the Palestinians without pointing fingers at anyone. This novel is not a political lecture, but a gripping and compassionate work of fiction.
Peace will not result from any political negotiation table, neither in Madrid, nor Oslo. The miracle is happening thanks to a work of fiction; a novel (The Almond Tree)
Huffington Post, Spanish TV and Radio Host Guillermo Fesser
An Inspiring journey of a boy from tattered hut of El-Kouriyah village to a winner of Nobel Prize. This novel can be a life changing wand for Palestinians.
‘The Almond Tree’ a novel based on the conflict, going on between Palestine and Israel, known as most intractable conflict.
Ahmed’s intelligence becomes his ladder into world of higher education which earns him respect in Jewish world and his point of view for them changes.
An Arab boy, who grows up to be a researcher in Harvard University amidst the war between Palestine and Israel. During this journey he passes through many turmoil but overcomes them and takes up his family’s all duties perfectly.
Wonderful work by Michelle, quenching the pain and sufferings of people of Palestine.
This is the tale of inspiration and courage that good will and heart never fails.
A saga of Palestine through the words of a Jewish American is ‘The Almond Tree’. A novel which will change our point of view watching this war.
Sonal Agarwal, A Blogger from India
The Almond Tree is an agonizing story written by an ardent and eloquent writer Michele Cohen Corasanti.
She is an Israeli born Jewish- American lady. She has a minute eye to keep herself well aware of the circumstances happening in the surrounding.
The world needs more “Nora” and “Justice” to bring equality and peace in this world.
Humanity (It is the best defined as when one people suffer, we all suffer. We not only do share their pain but have equal pain) is above all religions. Corasanti has proved this statement candidly, and in an impeccable style.
Michelle presents her valuable efforts done to unveil the Jewish atrocities and to synthesize this tale presumably being less callous than she has observed and analyzed, as she mentions “it took twenty years to write this novel”. But she also writes superbly that “past has a way of clawing its way out”.
In this novel she tells the story through first person narrator, a protagonist, a great reader, thinker a math lover and a physicist who experiments and uses science for the cause of humanity.
Corasanti has a way to explicate things and an art of telling a story. She has knitted the story in a way that a reader cannot get away as long as he/she comes to end. She has successfully used literary technique of frame narrative devised by her own self and digression from different disciplines like history, politics, basic sciences and medical sciences which mould the story more motivating and attention-grabbing. These techniques also show writer’s knowledge and interest in various fields of life making literature as a cosmic field of knowledge that can take hold of all disciplines of life.
Farkhanda Nazir, Lecturer of English, GCUF, Pakistan
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.
The Almond Tree humanizes a culture and brings characters from a distant land to life.
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 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.
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.
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.
You probably do not recognize the name Michelle Cohen Corasanti, but you will. She is the author of a consequential book that will force us to look at the tragic Palestinian Israeli conflict in much the same way that Solzshenitzyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich compelled us to examine the harsh realities of Soviet labor camps.
Corasanti’s The Almond Tree will have purchase on our moral imaginations equal to that experienced through reading To Kill A Mockingbird or watching Schindler’s List.
The Almond Tree is not an easy read. It is not something one can enjoy, unless one enjoys having one’s heart shredded by painful truths.Or unless one is comfortable with prods to the
conscience that demand personal and perhaps costly moral action.
The Almond Tree skillfully cobbles together a mosaic of the Palestinian condition from the mid-twentieth century to the present time with stark candor.
The Almond Tree, is honest. It places real blame, not gratuitous blame, where it belongs. It does not hide behind political complexities nor shift responsibility for some truly abhorrent practices
of Israel toward the Palestinian people. Neither does it condone retaliatory violence.
The Almond Tree is instead the literary equivalent of Guernica, exposing the real costs of violent conflict, extinguished human dreams, families torn asunder, opportunities lost, and the tragic waste of brilliant and creative human minds.
Like Picasso’s painting Guernica, Corasanti’s book has the power to command the world’s collective attention.
Her book assists us in challenging the lie that the expedients of inhumane policies and treatment are justified to secure a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and the restoration of human rights to the ordinary Palestinians who simply want to live with dignity and freedom.
My hope is that one day heads of state from around the globe will actually say to Michelle Cohen Corasanti, “You are the woman who, when you made us look through the eyes of Ichmad Hamid, Menachem Sharon and Abbas Hamid, of Nora,Justice and Zoher, of Baba and Yasmine, of Amal and Sara, effectively argued for peace.”
Marsha Hansen (Sister in law of Keith Richards, Rolling Stones) speaks about The Almond Tree
A compelling read.
Travel Tales from India
The simple and sole reason I picked up The Almond Tree to read was because it was spoken of on par with the most incredible novel I’ve ever read- Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. I am not going to compare the two because that would mean being unfair to both when they are each amazing in their own way. There’s nothing about The Almond Tree that I’d like to say that hasn’t been said before. All those highly impressive praises given to the book by leading newspapers are so true that I doubt there still are any adjectives left to describe it’s sheer amazingness.
When Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner made an impact after reading, Corasanti’s The Almond Tree is no less to it. With her brilliant writing, the author amazes the readers with a most powerful and inspiring story line.
Abhinand Jaguva Blog
While reading The Almond Tree, I was strongly reminded of The Kite Runner and One Thousand Splendid Suns. The Almond Tree is about the controversial history of Palestine and it gifts you with an experience so exquisite that you can’t help but marvel.
This is a beautifully written story that will leave no reader untouched – a story that will devour you from the beginning.
Michelle’s brilliance as a writer is hard to miss.
…bewitching debut novel.
What Khaled Hosseini did for Afghanistan in “The Kite Runner” is what Michelle Cohen Corasanti did for Palestine in her “The Almond Tree.” A must read book for sure.
Sohni’s Mind Store
This book is an inspiration for sure…. 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.
Jyothis’ Day Out
…a book to be read, understood and to be shared with everyone who believes in the power of education and peace…I wish I could meet and congratulate the author, Michelle Cohen Corasanti on writing a book like this. May you write more books. May your pen keep flowing. May your computer never hang up!
Freelance Writer Nivedita N
The Almond Tree’ marks a remarkable debut by Michelle Cohen Corasanti.
Live Your Life
The Almond Tree had traces of Victor Frankl’s Man’s search for Meaning.
Both of them talk about the surviving through the worst possible human conditions and coming out of it with flying colors, keeping a hope alive for humanity in the middle of hatred, violence and all kinds of divisions that we let come between us and our fellow beings. This also opened up the geography and politics of Israel and Palestine for me, of which I had a very vague idea based on newspaper reports. At the end of the book, I wanted to pack my bags and visit Gaza and it reminded me of all my friends and acquaintances who have narrated stories of visiting Israel.
Book Reviews by Anuradha Goyal
The Almond Tree’ is a novel that begins inside a tunnel filled with darkness of violence and bloodshed. Slowly, that tunnel is destroyed and replaced by a bridge with the promise that peace and hope shall prevail. The crux of the novel lies in these words of Ahmed’s father: “One cannot live on anger“
The Times of India
The Almond Tree is surely one of the best, heart wrenching books that I have read
A work of fiction of fortitude.
The Paper Blog
Afternoon Despatch & Courier
If I have to describe the book in one line, I would say ‘A beautiful work that touches your heart to the core – it teaches you life’s difficult lessons and shows how a man’s determination can change his world and the people he loves.’
The style of writing and the choice of words is brilliant…you actually feel you are a part of the story. A well-written book that deserves appreciation and recognition! The style of writing and the choice of words is brilliant…you actually feel you are a part of the story. A well-written book that deserves appreciation and recognition!
All About Book Publishing
The Almond Tree written by Michelle Cohen Corasanti is a story of a character larger than life itself. It is a journey comprising of despair, hunger, fear, death, life, joy, happiness, courage, sacrifice and determination. These words are less to explain what you will experience in your heart and mind while reading this book. Credit goes to the author for conceptualizing and scripting this beautiful story so brilliantly.
The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti provides a welcome break in an age when
wars are fought like video games and bodies of children blown to bits are brushed under the carpet as collateral damage. Instead, the book redirects the focus onto people who have emotions, relations and who are as living as the rest of us.
The Almond Tree is a heart-touching, powerful and honest story which shows the unbiased attitude of the writer. It is an inspiring description of human sufferings and perseverance. People have highly praised her characterization of Ahmed Hamid and believed that she has transported the readers in to the life of a Palestinian Arab so much without any efforts that anyone can relate himself/herself to him.
All Voices by Dr Shamenaz, Associate Professor & Head, Deptt of Applied Sciences & Humanities, AIET, Allahabad
The Almond Tree, the debut novel by Michelle Cohen Corasanti can proudly lay claim to this. It’s a book that details the incredibly tragic life-story of one proud Palestinian Arab, Ahmed Hamid
that has shaken my very core and questioned my faith in humanity.
…a novel that will for generations be considered a landmark in the history of the world for giving us the human story behind this war.
Vault of Books
‘SPEECHLESS’ – is the word that conveys my views for review but my work demands me to write more and I feel short of words to write for the acclaimed ‘BEST SELLER’. Trust me the principle of ‘less is more’ is best suited in this case; for only who read the book with realise the magnetism of the debutant author Michelle Cohen Coransanti.
Book News India
The Almond Tree poses the million dollar question as to whether one should renounce the collective pledge or the treasured individuality. It remains a matter of choice between believing in and carrying forth the assemblage of past emotional baggage or living, and also thriving under constant contradictions that comes only from individualistic learning.
Recent debate on social media centers around a Jewish American woman writing this book in the voice of a Palestinian Muslim male, when in fact that simply underscores the most extraordinary thing about the book: The expression of the experience of pain.
Michelle effectively puts her talent to work by giving readers a blatant insight into the Israel-Palestine conflict. And as an attribute to this honesty, she keeps the readers immersed, up until the very last page. Her transparent assessment of history elaborates how it all just boils down to: one story, two sides.
Putting the concept of a homeland through a new perspective, The Almond Tree is no ordinary work of fiction. While her characters struggle with the clichés brought up by history year after year, she manages to establish an alternate rationale on some very basic human instincts.
Dawn, the largest English newspaper in Pakistan
An insightful perspective on the questions of Palestinian exile and survival that haunt the Middle East…Promises a bright future for Corasanti.
World Literature Today Magazine
– The preconceived notion that the greatest creations in world literature have almost been achieved in the grim periods of time comes true with Michelle Cohen’s debut, The Almond Tree. Michelle, although is a lesser known novelist unlike other Jewish authors of enormous fame, Imre Kertész or Amos Oz but her literary explorations and rich narration can be feasibly equated to such canons of literature… Michelle’s craftsmanship of drawing characters is conspicuously dexterous.
As the pages are turned, Michelle’s brilliance as a writer is hard to miss.
A Poignant Tale of Palestinian Hardship.
The Asian Age
The Almond Tree was an amazing read. It’s moving. It’s interesting. And it’s engrossing. I totally agree with The Huffington Post that “This novel will become one of the biggest bestsellers of the decade.” And it should be.
Tarang Book Reviews
Michelle Cohen has written a beautiful tale of dreams coming true juxtaposed with the cost of achieving those dreams. She does not take any sides and leaves it to the reader to make up their minds on where their hearts lie.
The Greedy Reader, by Glass Bangle
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.
Honey Lemon Tea Blog
A genuine page-turner.
Paper Tree Blog
Like Khaled Housseni, Michelle Cohen Corasanti has done a brilliant job in bringing out the truth.
Books You Read
The best fiction that I read this year is for sure The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
As a book, The Almond Tree has been praised enough. All over the web and the literary circles, it has been hailed as the most engrossing book of the year. My review is on the same lines, not because I have to go with the flow, but because I genuinely like it. This is one book that deserves praise it gets.
A woman writing via the eyes of a native man in a country she did not originally belong to is no easy feat. But Michelle writes a first person narrative via Ahmed Hamid so easily that sometimes it seems like a memoir. This is a tale of misunderstood people, those people who we frequently see in the news but really know very little about. How many of us have taken sides in the Israel Palestine issue without actually knowing what it was about?
This is an important book.>
Credit goes to the author for conceptualizing and scripting this beautiful story so brilliantly.
There are a few books which will stay glued to me wherever I move, The Almond Tree has been added to that collection now.
The author has presented a heart-wrenching and inspiring story for everyone. Ahmed will remain a sturdy example of how motivation and survival instinct combined with intellect made him rise from the ashes. Love and hate are portrayed beautifully as two sides of the same coin through Ahmed and Abbas. The author writes freely here, not complicating her language too much. The different eras spanning Ahmed’s life are well divided into books. Her narration is so cogent that one can visualize the hills nesting almond and olive trees. Tragedy is carefully blended with little moments of joy to create an endless pasture of life.
I would recommend this book to everyone for growing up.
One and a Half Minute Blog
The Almond Tree was the best book I’ve read last year.
It is a highly believable work of fiction. The characters have been developed very well and I could see everything happen in front of me like a movie. ..It is a very touching story of sacrifice, struggle, pain, torture and hardships.
..The book will be a best seller of the decade…’ Huffington Post was right! This would be a best seller for sure.
An awesome debut by any standards, this is a story that would resonate with the reader no matter where he is from. The purpose of literature would be to the serve in a way that it transports him to the realm of the story telling and make him an inclusive witness. If you wanted this experience then give it to the author Michelle Cohen Corasanti for she makes you live the experience.
Random Digital Thoughts Blog
Most blurb comparisons are hopelessly inaccurate, in my opinion, but The Almond Tree’s gets it right when it compares the book to Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. To read a book from the POV of a person stuck in the middle of the issue is a different experience indeed, and the author is a genius for having thought of it.
I Read Ergo I Write Blog
Corasanti emerges as a powerful writer in this novel.
Infected Mind Blog
The bewitching debut novel.
Monica Arora, Kitab
…Stays with you long after the last page has been turned.
She is too fond of books blog
This is a beautifully written story that will leave no reader untouched – a story that will devour you from the beginning.
And The Story Unfolds Blog
The characters are filled with depth and passion and the author’s descriptive writing brings the period details to life. This is a story of family loyalty, love and sacrifice. Brilliant – poignant – achingly sad. I highly recommend with a 5 star rating.
Review From Here Blog
The Almond Tree had traces of Victor Frankl’s Man’s search for Meaning. Both of them talk about the surviving through the worst possible human conditions and coming out of it with flying colors, keeping a hope alive for humanity in the middle of hatred, violence and all kinds of divisions that we let come between us and our fellow beings. This also opened up the geography and politics of Israel and Palestine for me, of which I had a very vague idea based on newspaper reports. At the end of the book, I wanted to pack my bags and visit Gaza and it reminded me of all my friends and acquaintances who have narrated stories of visiting Israel.
Book Reviews by Anuradha Goya
For a first-time author, Michelle Cohen Corasanti achieves excellence beyond the reader’s expectations, consistently and elegantly capturing the spirits of her characters and the plot, thus easily immersing the readers in the book. The book also gives the reader a deep insight into the happenings of the Israel-Palestine war through an insider’s perspective. The author’s narration style is quite evocative and gleams with knowledge and research on the Israeli occupation. .. This book is a brilliant attempt for a debut novel and as many other readers have pointed out, it reminds one of The Kite Runner…
The author is extremely talented and,this is her masterpiece…It is a great novel and has the tendency to touch each and every soul alive on this earth.
The Author’s Blog
The Almond Tree is an inspirational narrative of profound pain, courage, hope, resilience and indomitable human spirit…But what makes Corasanti’s book stand apart is her very humanistic, sensitive and equitable handling of the events of the story.
This book had me gripped from the first word to the last… This book was by far, one of the best books I have come across… If you like books, read it… Heck, if you do not like books, give this one a try, maybe you will start loving reading! I give this one a 10 out of 5.
There and Their
Fantastic story, unforgettable characters, and an issue that is still going on this very day.
Read Dream Relax
…exhibits an inherent knowledge of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
and Gaza.” “Corasanti’s elaboration of history and fiction has created a touching narration which ensnares the reader from the first chapter.
Middle East Monitor
The Almond Tree, intelligent, never over stated and written with love, informs and educates.
The details are so personal, so harrowing, yet so full of hope and triumph over evil, you desperately want it to be real.
Hackwriters, The International Writer´s Magazine
…Brilliant and powerful…a fiction that rings with authenticity and integrity to reveal the wonder of what it really is to be human. If ever peace is to become a reality between Israel and Palestine, it will be because of the influence of books such as this…This…book…will endure and resonate forever in the souls of all who read it…Some books have the power to change us profoundly; this is one of those books.
Les Edgerton, author of The Death of Tarpons and Monday´s Meal
Arguably the most important book of the year.
Dream Crazy Book Reviews
..Spellbinding… Brilliant.. Mind-blowing… Remarkable…
…Her powerful prose and compelling characters raises The Almond Tree to the status of epic”
John Zogby founder, Zogby International and author, The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation, The American Dream
This powerful debut novel by Michelle Cohen is a compelling narrative of how the human spirit can overcome overwhelming odds by transforming what seems to be a hopeless situation into a life that is full of opportunities… Cohen, who grew up in the United States and lived and studied in Israel, weaves a complex narrative with a delicate balance of sensitivity and candor. Her description of everyday life as it interacts with family traditions, cultural norms, and political realities, is rich and vivid. In the hands of a less knowledgeable and skillful writer, some of the details she gives could become stereotypical. That is not the case here, as Cohen reveals her extensive knowledge of the Hebrew and Arabic Languages and cultures, as well as her understanding of both sides of the political conflict.
The Almond Tree tells an inspirational story that is moving, thought provoking, and engaging. It is a narrative of hope for building a better future based on the recognition of the humanity of all people and on the belief that love and understanding can overcome violence and mistrust. This is a page-turner that deserves to be read widely.
Professor Samir Abu-Absi, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Toledo. Writer and editor, American Arabs in Toledo
Samir Abu-Absi (B.A. in English from The American University of Beirut, M.A. & Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University) is Professor Emeritus of English. He has taught language and linguistics courses that include Linguistic Principles, History of the English Language, Phonology, Applied Linguistics, and Arabic. His research interests include ESL, Language Policy and Planning, Arabic Structure, and the relationship between Language and Culture.
Corasanti has written a phenomenal tale, and she holds the reader’s attention completely; making this book almost impossible to set down.
Washington Report on the Middle East
If you enjoyed The Kite Runner or In the Shadow of the Banyan, you will want to read The Almond Tree”
Carol Fitzgerald, co-Founder/President of The Book Report Network
… A Kite-Runner-like epic of Palestinian life by Michelle Cohen Corasanti, makes you aware of what it’s like to exist under Israeli rule… told in a manner that strongly resembles the voice and narrative used by Khaled Hosseini in his popular novel, The Kite Runner.
A Palestinian Tale Told by a Jewish American.
Although possibly difficult for Israelis and Jews everywhere to read, The Almond Tree should be required reading for all as when there is understanding of the other side, peace can be achieved.
The Times of Israel
…A strong addition to coming of age fiction collections, highly recommended.
The MidwestBook Review
…One of the most riveting books I have read… 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. I highly recommend this book.
Charline Ratcliff / Rebecca’s Reads
The story is spell-binding with universal appeal and has potential of becoming an international bestseller and can do for Palestinians what The Kite Runner did for Afghanistan.
The Daily Star
Corasanti’s accomplished debut novel offers a humanistic look into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…Sensitive, moving…a complex novel as necessary as ever.
The prose is as evocative as it is powerful…
The Hindu Business Line
The Almond Tree has all the makings of a bestseller or a Hollywood film. It is a rags-to-riches (in this case tent-dweller to international award-winner) tale with love, suffering, death and justice thrown into the mix.
The Electronic Intifada, Selma Dabbagh author of Out of It.
…A moving and powerful novel based on historical events, which the writer weaves together harmoniously…It is the type of story that will keep you wondering where reality ends and fiction starts.
Gulf Daily News, Jamal Kanj author of Children of Catastrophe
Spellbinding account of the dramatic life of a Palestinian prodigy.
Mondoweiss, Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh
…Definitely a five-star…the story is powerful and engrossing, definitely recommended.
The Dubious Disciple (One of the top 10 Christian blogs in US)
…An engaging novel with an impressive degree of empathy and authenticity. It reads like a combination of Mornings in Jenin and The Kite Runner. As such, it has the potential to reach broad audiences
with a powerful message of Palestinian humanity…
Mondoweiss, Pamela Olson author of Fast times in Palestine.
… Profound and finely crafted…This intimate tale of love and loss and awareness
shines a greater understanding of the personal toll of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Marcy Dermansky author, Bad Marie
…A brilliantly written novel..”
“The Almond Tree will stay with me for a long time…the story is so compelling and left me with so much to ponder regarding the human condition and regarding loss (in all of its forms) and regarding dignity and redemption. Michelle Cohen Corasanti is masterful with her word-images. I highly recommend The Almond Tree to everyone.
“…Reads like a treatise on love and peace…It ‘shines light’.”
The Earthen Lamp Journal, Professor Bina Biswa
Rarely does a reader encounter a first novel so rich in irony, compassion, power, and the sheer beauty of timeless and universal truths.
…Her powerful prose and compelling characters raises The Almond Tree to the status of epic”
Mark Spencer author, The Masked Demon, A Haunted Love Story and The Weary Motel
Excellent. Heart-breaking. Absolutely amazing. I could not put this down. The author does an incredible job drawing you in right from the start.
The Printed Word Book Reviews
…A fascinating and, for me, eye-opening read which I won’t soon forget.
Shining Skyline Book Review
..Spellbinding… Brilliant.. Mind-blowing… Remarkable… It has been a very long time since a book pulled me in as far as The Almond …did, and an even longer time since a book has made me cry.
Nothing short of breathtaking… I could not put the book down and I knew I had to finish it. There was something in those pages that would matter in my life. And it was true.
I found myself gasping for air, overwhelmed almost reduced to tears.