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

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Based on a 43-minute radio documentary that Tolan produced for "Fresh Air," this volume pursues the story into the homes and histories of the two ... Show synopsis

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  • 1. Trade paperback, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2007

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

Overall customer rating: 5.000
smijatov

Excellent, in-depth book

by smijatov on Mar 5, 2009

This was the most interesting and in-depth book I've read in a long time. It tells two stories of two different families - one Arab and one Jewish. Truly compelling, I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

VickiLindsay

One House, Two Families - One Land, Two Peoples

by VickiLindsay on Apr 5, 2007

The Lemon Tree is the story of a lovely stone house and the two families who knew it as their only home.   It was built in 1936 in Ramle, Palestine, by the al-Khairi family on land that had been in their family since the sixteenth century.  They were expelled in 1948 when Bashir al-Khairi was six years old.  Soon after, the Eskenazi family, dispossessed refugees, arrived on a ship from Bulgaria, and moved into the house -- which, they were told, had been abandoned.  Their daughter, Dalia was one year old.        Dalia and Bashir met nearly 20 years later and through the complex, deep, affectionate, and conflicted relationship they forge ? the relationship of Bashir, Dalia, and the house with the lemon tree -- Sandy tells the story of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.   If you want to know more of the history of Palestine and Israel, read this book. It is a true story, but it reads like a novel. It's a page-turner that tells "Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of Israel and Palestine, but were afraid to ask." If you know the history, but you have difficulty discussing it with others, read this book for back-up. Every event is documented in the extensive source notes. Arab accounts of what occurred around 1948 have long been available. Israeli Army reports of the same events were declassified only 50 years after the fact. Only since then have the disparate narratives begun to intertwine into one coherent story of what happened in 1948 and after. All of the historic phenomena are documented here from both Israeli and Palestinian sources. If you follow the news of the region, and therefore you despair, read this book. You'll discover that hope prevails -- in the care of those who, rather than building walls to keep out the presumed enemy, instead invite one another in, and learn each other?s story. The Lemon Tree was selected as Booklist?s Top of the List - the best book of nonfiction in 2006. It received the Christopher Award, was a finalist for the Book Critic?s Circle Award for Best Nonfiction of 2006, was featured as Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, and received starred reviews from Publisher?s Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal, laudets from both Jewish and Palestinian readers, and praise from scholars around the world.

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