The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East

Sandy Tolan, Author . Bloomsbury $24.95 (362p) ISBN 978-1-58234-343-3

The title of this moving, well-crafted book refers to a tree in the backyard of a home in Ramla, Israel. The home is currently owned by Dalia, a Jewish woman whose family of Holocaust survivors emigrated from Bulgaria. But before Israel gained its independence in 1948, the house was owned by the Palestinian family of Bashir, who meets Dalia when he returns to see his family home after the Six-Day War of 1967. Journalist Tolan (Me & Hank ) traces the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the parallel personal histories of Dalia and Bashir and their families—all refugees seeking a home. As Tolan takes the story forward, Dalia struggles with her Israeli identity, and Bashir struggles with decades in Israeli prisons for suspected terrorist activities. Those looking for even a symbolic magical solution to that conflict won't find it here: the lemon tree dies in 1998, just as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process stagnates. But as they follow Dalia and Bashir's difficult friendship, readers will experience one of the world's most stubborn conflicts firsthand. 2 maps. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 560 pages - 978-1-4070-3626-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-56511-988-8
Paperback - 362 pages - 978-1-59691-343-1
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-59691-922-8
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