|The Almond Tree on goodreads.com|
The plot and action of this book are absolutely intriguing and page-turning, but not in a "thriller" type of way. The characters are so real and compelling that I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to know what happened next. For me the subject matter is particularly interesting because of the current day conflict between Palestine/Israel. The story really humanizes all of the struggles and conflicts that region has had in the past 60 years and presents it in a fairly unbiased way. Although this is a fictional story, it is clear that the author knew and researched the subject extremely well. Her writing style is clear and descriptive. At times, I felt like I was sweating under the summer sun with Ahmed and his brothers as they worked dangerous construction jobs to support their family. I could easily imagine that I was in the dorms and classrooms with Ahmed when he finally was able to go away to college. For the most part, I could easily believe that all of the events in "The Almond Tree" were possible. There were only a few parts that seemed a bit far-fetched, making this a truly great piece of writing.
I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It is one of the best books I have read this year. I would rate it 4.75/5.