Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book, for which I give my honest review, through Goodreads First Reads.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
May the battles that we fight be for the advancement of humanity.
That’s not a quote from The Almond Tree. Rather, it was the note from the author, Michelle Cohen Corasanti, that accompanied my copy of this book: the story of Ichmad, a young, brilliant mind in a land torn by violence.
I understand Ichmad’s relationship with science, his passion. Not only does he use science to solve everyday and practical problems, but it provides his active mind with something productive to do when his present circumstances would otherwise cripple his spirit. That passion ultimately creates for him a much-needed platform to speak on behalf of others, for the sake of fellow human beings.
I wouldn’t get into a wrangle about the politics in the story. Considering the modest portion of knowledge I possess in that area, writing The Movement of Crowns Series is likely the closest I’ll get to politics in this season of my life. However, reading of others’ political views, even in a fiction work, has value.
Another thing I wouldn’t do is say that this novel has the most sophisticated prose or plot and character development. But I think to look for that kind of “sophistication” in this book would be to miss the point.
The story here is told simply, often with the feel of a memoir, and its beauty is in that very simplicity. It gives the reader a sense of a man who wasn’t born and raised in the West, whose thoughts wouldn’t be in English, and whose aim isn’t to give us a “novel” but to tell us his life story in the way that he, a man of science, can best tell it.
If this book fuels the reader’s consideration and compassion for humankind, as it has for me, then I believe it has done its job.
Note for my blog readers: not out of keeping with the nature of the subject matter, this novel contains a minimal amount of profanity.