Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday 56: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Mama and Nadia held Sara's dead body all night so that she wouldn't be alone. When Abbas finally fell asleep, he ground his teeth so hard, that the front one cracked. I remained awake the entire night. When curfew ended, I ran to the outpost and waited six hours under the brutal sun before they granted me a permit to bury my sister.

Posted for The Friday 56, which is hosted by Freda's Voice

Title: The Almond Tree
Author: Michelle Cohen Corasanti
ISBN: 9788172344870
Publisher: Finger Prints Publishing/2013
Pages: 352 pages

It is a story about two Palestinian brothers, Ahmed and Abbas. The story opens with their toddler sister being killed in a landmine. Few years later, 12 year old Ahmed sees his father accused of a false crime, their land confiscated. He and Abbas both have to work to take care of the family. Abbas has an accident and is crippled for life. Now Ahmed is a gifted child. He gets an opportunity to study further because of his brilliancy. He lives for Israel university although his mother is not keen about it. Despite prejudices, Ahmed does well in his life. 

Abbas does not approve of his brother dallying with the Jews and likes it even less when Ahmed falls in love and marries a Jewish girl. Meanwhile, Abbas joins a group perpetrating terror against the Israelis. 

I had some issues about the large families and Ahmed's single mindedness about helping his family. Abbas, on the other hand, thought about his country. He had become a cripple, was in constant pain. Yet for him, Palestine was bigger than his individuality and his family. 

The book was a revelation of some kind. We talk about the Jews suffering during the holocaust and the aftermath. No one talks about the Palestinians and their sufferings. Israel wants their land but where to the Palestinians go? There is no solution as yet. 


Yvonne said...

Sounds like an interesting read.

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

Wow. This sounds like a very intense book. Thanks for sharing it with us!

fredamans said...

How terribly tragic at the end. Bet it's an epic read!

Happy Easter!

RuthB said...

I love stories like this one. Thanks for sharing with us.
Happy Easter!

Page said...

Wow, that was intense. Sounds really interesting, thanks for the share.

marmee said...

there is indeed a deep silence around palestinian suffering and the outcomes. I think it is because it is felt that if you show concern for the human rights of the palestinians you not only attack israel but maybe deny the sorrows and huge tragedy of the holocaust but of course...wrong is wrong and suffering is suffering no matter who it is happening to.