Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

When something striking similar to reality is narrated through a book with all the details it becomes a memory. You can associate all the joy and the happiness of the incidents and the events spread across the book with what you hear in the day to day life. Author Michelle Cohen Corasanti in her debut novel "The Almond Tree" talks about life in one such world which lives under the cloud of fear. So is this novel a stepping stone to get them out of their oblivion state? Let's find out. 
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, they fear losing each other. On Ahmeds twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality. With his father imprisoned, his familys home and possessions confiscated and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ahmed begins an inspiring journey using his intellect to save his poor and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence and loss and discovers a new hope for the future. The Almond Tree humanizes a culture and brings characters from a distant land to life. 

First look at the title and the cover and the readers can gauge that something intense and passionate is coming their way through this book. The cover image of a man with those intense looking eyes makes it look very thoughtful. The blurb talks about a man's struggle in the war between two nations. The blurb has been summarized perfectly leaving for the readers to decide and tell in the end what they witnessed in the book. 

The story revolves around young Ahmed Hamid and his war ravaged country Palestine and the growing tension from Israel and amongst this backdrop his will and courage to survive and fight his way out to make a living for himself and his family. His journey from one land to the other and the barrage of issues he faces which leads him to places and people which unexpectedly become part of his life and share their sorrows and joys with him. So will he able to unite the world? What is in store for him and his family? Will their ever be peace between Israel and Palestine? Where is his own life headed to? This is what the story is all about. 

If one word is to be used to describe the novel then it'll be "insightful". Right from the start till the end there's not one single scene which you can't imagine in your head as a reader. The book is brilliant in capturing the depth of emotions and the journey of a young and a naive lad. The family commitment, the sorrows, the joys, the will, the courage, the fear, the love, the sacrifices and the loss of near and dear ones one way or the other makes the book an outstanding piece of work by an author. The fluency in narration makes the book easy to grasp and understand. Every word has a meaning and every phrase has some value of its own in the book. 

The book might tend to go very slow towards the end. It's the only drawback in the whole story. The end could have been tightened up a little bit more. 

Over all the book is a package in itself. It highlights the reality of the two nations who have been at war for a very long time now, the plight of the people and the issues concerning their welfare and status in the society. The book will let you live a time and an era which already has made a very powerful impact on the minds of the people. It'll jolt you out of reverie completely. The book is a classic rewind of two warring nations and it's people. 


4 OUT OF 5

P.S: This book review is a part of "The Readers Cosmos Review Program". To get free books log on to "". 


  1. Thank you for the review, I must say, a perfect review! I'm going for this book :)

  2. Thanks for your review:) I already read this book and it was an amazing novel.

  3. Thanks Mehek for the appreciation. :)