The Almond Tree

I won this novel through Goodreads Giveaway, and spoilers follow:

If14929224 the Almond Tree can be described with one word that both sums up its inspiration, content and ambition it’s ‘grim’. This is never clearer than the opening chapter, described through the eyes of a young boy as he watched his baby sister chase a butterfly out of a house, across the street and into a minefield. The story follows a boy, persecuted for being an Arab in an Israeli state, of his escape through education and the hunt to redeem himself via his family. It depicts the living conditions of real people and runs across many historical events of the last fifty years accurately (as far as I can tell, although I must confess I am no historian and woefully ignorant about some things that I should not be), I just ‘wish’ I could say it was based on a true story but sadly the redemption found in the end by Ichmad is not one that our dreary real world has accomplished yet.

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The City at the End of Time

Or the ‘Slow Painful Death of Reality’…

172741There’s a brilliant tale somewhere in ‘The City at the End of Time’, it’s a book full of pregnant thoughts and weighty expectations but in the end I admit I was left just as unfulfilled as I did when launching into this difficult piece of prose. By splitting his story between so many characters the author, Greg Bear, risked spreading his story too thin but in fact it’s perhaps the characters themselves that let the grander tale down.

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