Advance reader reviews of Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani.

Children of the Jacaranda Tree

By Sahar Delijani

Children of the Jacaranda Tree
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2013,
    288 pages.

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There are currently 37 member reviews
for Children of the Jacaranda Tree
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  • Jill S. (Eagle, ID)


    Children of the Jacaranda Tree
    This is a great book, one that will a great suggestion for any book club. Set in the aftermath of the Shah of Iran, it deals with the life, and repercussions of the transition. This book opened my eyes to these events, and made me appreciate the struggles, horror, and resilience of the human spirit. Although the number of characters can be distracting, the events are very 'eye opening'.
  • Carolyn V. (Douglass, KS)


    Children of the Jacaranda Tree
    You are immediately caught up with one of the main characters in Children of the Jacaranda Tree. The book covers the protests in Iran over the years from 1983 to 2011 –.28 years, enough time for babies to grow up and fight their own political battles. The story is told from more than one side and there are many characters to follow.
    The two prisons, Evin and Kahrizak in the novel are real. The three Americans who wandered into Iran while hiking and were accused of spying by Iran were held in Evin. The writing is very subtle concerning the torture in the prison. Only in the 2nd reading did I catch the significance of the timing of the sisters going to prison and the age of their babies now in the care of the grandparents and the last sister.
    Shahar Delijani's writing has phrasing that has kept me pondering; 'soon she realized memories were heavier than her will to move on'.
    The scenes and characters change abruptly. Once the scene changed without the character names being mentioned; that left me struggling to fit the scene into my frame of reference. After reading the few pages I thought that by not naming the characters the scene became more universal. Many of the characters had the experience described.
    Although in aforementioned example the abrupt scene change worked others did not. Early in the book a character that you came to care about very quickly is in a life threatening condition. The next paragraph it is a month later with no mention how that was resolved.
    The ending did contain a surprise about the twist and turns lives take. The book was a good 1st read and the re-reading it is even more compelling.
  • Chris W. (Temple City, CA)


    Beautiful debut
    This multigenerational, heartbreaking story of families in post-revolutionary Iran is mesmerizing and beautifully written. Imprisonment, torture, execution, constant fear, and families torn apart are difficult to read about; and yet there is also hope and love among the family members and "proof that it's possible to reconstruct something beautiful out of devastated debris." Such a personal look into their lives motivates me to learn more about Iran. There is much here to discuss by book club members.
  • Robin M. (Newark, DE)


    Read it in 4 Days!
    I am always intrigued by books about the Middle-East and have enjoyed reading biographies and memoirs since my childhood. Children of the Jacaranda Tree was no exception. This book grabbed my interest on the first page, and I read 60 pages before putting it down that first time.

    Delijani's writing is often lyrical, almost poetic, and although she is describing sometimes horrible events, the story is beautifully written. Delijani's descriptions of the settings are among the best I've ever read.

    I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy books about the Middle-East and biographies/memoirs, and I would read other books that Delijani writes.
  • Ariel F. (Madison, WI)


    Gripping debut novel
    I found Children of the Jacaranda Tree to be a gripping story of what happened in the Iranian revolution after the Shah was over thrown. I felt that while this was a novel, the author based it on what she had really heard that had happened to either family members or friends.
    It was challenging reading due to some of its emotional content, beginning with a mother going into labor in a van on the way to prison. While many of the characters in the novel lived in fear, they were determined to make a good in spite of everything.
    I would recommend this book to book clubs as a good discussion book.
  • Caroline R. (New Canaan, CT)


    Children of the Jacaranda Tree
    This is a multi-generational story about the inhumane and tragic treatment of people in post-revolutionary Iran. The presence of so many characters and so much suffering made it difficult to follow at times. I liked that the story started and ended with Neda with a spark of hope...
  • Lori L. (La Porte, IN)


    Children of the Jacaranda Tree
    Although this is a deeply sad book, I did enjoy it. It reminded me, in a way, of "The Kite Runner" in that it offered insight into the lives of individuals living under a brutal, repressive regime in the Middle East. The only thing lacking in this book was a sense of what life was like prior to the beatings, imprisonments, torture and death, so we know what the revolutionaries were fighting for. I would recommend this book to book clubs, particularly those with an interest in other cultures or historical fiction.
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