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Rayna T. (Auburn, CA)
Children of the Jacaranda Tree
This a very emotional book. I have had to put it down many times and go back to it. How these people lived through this is unbelievable. I don't believe that we in the United States have any comprehension that the atrocities were inflicted on average people fighting for their rights.
Amy G. (Bowie, MD)
"What is life...but a long lullaby of separation?"
Her writing is so descriptive that it was like poetry. I will definitely pass it on to all my reading friends, those in my Book Club as well as others.
I am not sure if this novel is supposed to be a set of short stories, or a novel that never really came together, and by the end, I wasn't sure I really cared. The characters never made an impact on me, so it was difficult to remember who was who. Also, the timing of the stories jumped forward (and back) in time with little to no warning, it frustrated me to distraction.
Lea Ann M. (Seattle, WA)
Children f the Jacaranda Tree
One thing that was very evident in this novel is the author's belief in (and experience with) the notion that those who suffer during a political revolution are not the only affected generation. In the end, violence and loss come full circle from the mothers in the beginning of the book to their sons and daughters, represented later in the book.
What an intriguing book! As I read the first few chapters, I must admit that I was a bit confused by the format, but even more by the unfamiliar names of the characters. But, as I read more, I became engrossed in the story and in the horror experienced by the citizens of Iran as they were imprisoned, tortured, killed for disagreeing with the regime in power at any one particular time. The characters were three dimensional, not stereotypes, but persons whom I might have know, who could have been family, co-workers, neighbors, friends. This is a book which not only entertains, but teaches about a culture very different from that in the United States. The biggest lesson, in my opinion, is that the citizens of Iran, for the most part, are like us in wanting lives that are meaningful, happy and that hold a promising future for their children, but who often find those goals unobtainable. As our nations clash, this book helps us to have empathy for the citizens of Iran and for us to hope that in some way they can understand those of us who are the "ordinary" citizens of the USA. A book well worth reading.
Jonna V. (WESTMINSTER, CO)
Powerful and mesmerizing read, finished the book in 2 days. Sahard takes us into the lives/experiences of the women, men, husbands, wives and children of Iran. She makes the reader feel the pain, love, desperation and courage of the Iranian people.
Amber B. (East Sparta, OH)
Several friends from my book club saw me reading it and are excited to read it. Many fantastic discussion points.
I would say that I enjoyed reading "Jacaranda Tree" but that it is probably not the correct wording...I'll say that I am glad I read it.
The most significant aspect of this excellent novel for me was the incredible sense of voice that each of Delijani's characters possess - particularly the rarely expressed voices of the women and children. (Omid...age 3... watching his parents being arrested whilst yogurt drips from his fingertips...)
This book opened my eyes to Iran the way that Hosseini's Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns opened my eyes to various voices in Afghanistan. While it is a difficult read, the imagery of the tree is powerful - each branch connected, each telling a story that is different and yet part of a whole
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.
Sherrie R. (Fort Worth, TX)
Fascinating book, riveting reading
I was intrigued to read a story by an Iranian author whose family lived in Iran during the 1983 revolution. She tells a vivid and enduring story how it affected so many lives through the years.
From the harrowing beginning when Azar was being taken to the hospital to have her baby, I completely immersed myself in this book and all its characters. The writing was so descriptive that I felt like I was right there "in the moment." Each woman's story unfolded in time sequences from 1983, 1987- then 2009/2010.
There were so many places where she included phrases that to me perfectly captured the essence of what that character was thinking and feeling.
I LOVED IT!