Laurie's Reviews > The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan
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's review
Apr 09, 2012

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This was a true story of an Arab, Bashir and a Jew, Dalia who both occupied and loved the same house in the city of Ramla. Bashirs' father built the house and his family lived in Ramla for many generations until the palestinians were forced from the city and their homes in 1948. The home holds all of Bashirs childhood memories. Dalias' family moved in the home in 1948 after coming to Israel from Bulgaria. Both were raised in the home so carry strong emotional ties it. They form a friendship after the six day war and struggle to understand one anothers points of view on the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict. The book was a wonderful resource for the history of the birth of Israel and the Palestinian conflict. I learned a great deal from it. Despite the great reviews I did feel it was much more a lesson in history than a novel and for me it lacked the powerful emotional connection of a novel. I started to feel the history overpowered the story by the time i was halfway through and just didn't feel the same connection to the characters as I did the novel Mornings In Jenin which I loved. It is a sad novel and does a good job of portraying the impossibility of a resolution to the conflict. I must say I believe the authors account was more towards the Palestinian side. I would liked to have heard more about the Israeli side as I failed to fully understand that and their quest for zionism. Nontheless the book gave me a great lesson on this middle-eastern conflict.

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