Read advance reader review of Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani, page 5 of 6

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Children of the Jacaranda Tree

by Sahar Delijani

Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani X
Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2013, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2014, 288 pages

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Page 5 of 6
There are currently 37 member reviews
for Children of the Jacaranda Tree
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  • Nancy L. (Denver, NC)
    Children of the Jacaranda Tree
    It's hard to believe that extremely religious people are so heartless. Even though that is the case in the US sometimes, it has never been as wicked as in Iran.
    A child is born while the mother and father are in prison as revolutionaries. The mother's sisters are also in prison - their children being cared for by an aunt and grandmother. The family's story is continued into the following years with heartbreaking details as to how they are affected by their history. Sad but true.
  • Debbie L. (Houston, TX)
    Children of the Jacaranda Tree
    Sahar Delijani's book was obviously written with the heart and experience of a generation that has been affected by the Iranian Cultural Revolution. In that light, the story was interesting in showing how the infants and children of the 1980s have been forever changed and are still coping with with the fervor and sacrifices of their parents and grandparents. However, the first half of the book was confusing and disjointed as the story moved from through families and events even with the guidelines of the dates.
  • Vicki O. (Boston, MA)
    Better than average - a 3.5
    Set in Post Revolutionary Iran, "Children of the Jacaranda Tree," presents an extraordinary though disturbing picture of the interconnected lives of a group of characters. The more I read, the more I wondered whether the material would have been better suited to a collection of short stories. The writing is compelling and graphic. The novel's weakness is its loose plot which never grabbed my attention even though I found each character's story engrossing.
  • Tracey S.
    disappointed
    I was disappointed in the book and I wanted it to be better than it was. The first part drew me in and I wanted to find out what happened to Neda, but as I kept reading I got confused on who was who and had to keep going back to see if I had read about a certain character before. I probably would have stopped reading the book about half way through if I had just been reading for pleasure and not because I needed to write a review. I'm sure there are other who loved the book, but I just thought it was okay.
  • Alyce T. (San Antonio, TX)
    Children Of the Jacaranda Tree
    This book to me was a collection of loosely joined short stories. The characters did not come alive . I did not feel like I really got to know anyone. The other problem that I had reading it was what seemed to be awkward descriptions throughout the book. On the plus side, Delijani proytrayed the times well. It was very informative and the stories needed to be told. I do feel a lot of sympathy for her and her family and friends from whom these were drawn. It would cause a lot of discussions in book clubs. Yes, I would recommend it. I really liked the last chapter. That was when I started feeling involved.
  • Celia A. (Takoma Park, MD)
    Children of the Jacaranda Tree
    This book follows two generations of Iranians--those who were young adults at the time of the revolution and their children. The book bounces around in time, and the best developed chapters are those set in the prisons during the parents' generation. While I was glad to get to read about a bit of modern history from an unfamiliar perspective, I found that there were just too many characters to keep straight. I wanted to construct a family tree so that I could keep straight which parents went with with children, but I'm not sure that would have helped. There seemed to be very little narrative arc carrying the book forward. Instead, the chapters seemed very disconnected. Most confusingly, the author kept introducing major characters right up to the end. I was disappointed in a book that I had great hopes for. I think I would have liked it more had it been written as a set of loosely connected short stories.
  • Lola M. (BOISE, ID)
    Never Ending
    Reading Children of the Jacaranda Tree was what it must feel like to endlessly drown - in sorrow, fear, helplessness, similes and the over careful parceling out of emotions. It was like being tumbled over and under a roaring river of barely suppressed screams in a hurt-your-eyes hard light land. An overwhelming onslaught of terror, bitterness, loss, and confusion. The words wouldn't let up, wouldn't stop coming … even when I was begging them to stop.

    How does one comfort children without mothers, and fathers staring into the face of death, but still surprised when it cuts them? How does one help women who sacrifice who they are for what someone else believes? The reader cannot and suffers for it.

    While what this book brings to the table is real, reading page after page of beautifully written hell is very difficult to stick with. There is such a fierce push of adjectives and metaphors with no room to breathe. In reading there is no hope - except for that which is stingily and often painfully measured out by a people so suffocated, so cowed by their circumstances that I want to end their misery for them.

    The stories draw everything out of the reader even when hearts glow and the human spirit attempts to rise. There is never triumph, never the knowledge that there will be healing and time for new, more gorgeous memories to be birthed in the lifetimes of the characters - even those who escape for a time. Lives either imploded or just expired and I had to live every one of them.

    I am blessed to have the choice to close this book and be grateful for my mundane, even slightly boring life where I have the freedom to live where I do.

    If this is the type of book a reader is drawn to, they will be in heaven.

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