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

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

ISBN13: 9781582343433
ISBN10: 1582343438
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman named Dalia, who invited them in.

This act of faith in the face of years of animosity is the starting point for a true story of a remarkable relationship between two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the region. In his childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, Bashir sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. As both are swept up in the fates of their people, and Bashir is jailed for his alleged part in a supermarket bombing, the friends do not speak for years. They finally reconcile and convert the house in Ramie into a day-care center for Arab children of Israel, and a center for dialogue between Arabs and Jews. Now the dialogue they started seems more threatened than ever; the lemon tree died in 1998, and Bashir was jailed again, without charge.

The Lemon Tree grew out of a forty-three minute radio documentary that Sandy Tolan produced for Fresh Air. With this book, he pursues the story into the homes and histories of the two families at its center, and up to the present day. Their stories form a personal microcosm of the last seventy years of Israeli-Palestinian history. In a region that seems ever more divided, The Lemon Tree is a reminder of all that is at stake, and of all that is still possible.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Tolan's sensitively told, eminently fair-minded narrative closes with a return to that lemon tree and its promise of reconciliation. Humane and literate — and rather daring in suggesting that the future of the Middle East need not be violent." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"A much-needed antidote to the cynicism of realpolitik." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"This wonderful human story vividly depicts the depths of attachment to contested ground. An excellent choice for general readers." Library Journal (Starred Review)

Review:

"Through Tolan's thoroughly readable and exceedingly informative book, readers will gain deeper understanding of the beleaguered Palestinians and besieged Israelis who make only brief appearances in our evening newscasts." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"[I]t will certainly be one of the best works of nonfiction that you will read this year." Christian Science Monitor

Book News Annotation:

The lemon tree referred to in the title of this work, which began as a radio report by the author for National Public Radio's Fresh Air, occupied the yard of a house once occupied by Bashir Khairi, a Palestinian whose family was driven out of the town of Ramla, now in Israel. Shortly after 1967, he visited his old house, then occupied by Dalia Eshkenazi, who had come to Israel as an infant whose family was escaping anti-Semitic persecution in Bulgaria. So began an unlikely, 40-year, often strained, friendship between a committed Palestinian nationalist and an ardent Jewish Zionist. The story of their friendship and the historical experiences of their respective families are set within the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in an effort by the author to humanize both sides of the issue. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The tale of a simple act of faith between two young people - one Israeli, one Palestinian - that symbolizes the hope for peace in the Middle East.

In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in.

This act of faith in the face of many years of animosity is the starting point for a true story of a remarkable relationship between two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the regio. In his childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, Bashir sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. As both are swept up in the fates of their people, and Bashir is jailed for his alleged part in a supermarket bombing, the friends do not speak for years. They finally reconcile and convert the house in Ramle into a day-care centre for Arab children of Israel, and a center for dialogue between Arabs and Jews. Now the dialogue they started seems more threatened than ever; the lemon tree died in 1998, and Bashir was jailed again, without charge.

The Lemon Tree grew out of a forty-three minute radio documentary that Sandy Tolan produced for Fresh Air. With this book, he pursues the story into the homes and histories of the two families at its center, and up to the present day. Their stories form a personal microcosm of the last seventy years of Israeli-Palestinian history. In a region that seems ever more divided, The Lemon Tree is a reminder of all that is at stake, and of all that is still possible.

Sandy Tolan is the author of Me & Hank: A Boy and His Hero, Twenty-five Years Later. He has written for the New York Times Magazine and for more than 40 other magazines and newspapers. As cofounder of Homelands Productions, Tolan has produced dozens of radio documentaries for National Public Radio and Public Radio International. His work has won numerous awards, and he was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and an I. F. Stone Fellow at the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he directs the school's Project on International Reporting.
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
 
In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramla, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in.

This poignant encounter is the starting point for a true story of two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the region. In Bashir's childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, he sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. Both are swept up in the fates of their people, and and their lives form a personal microcosm of more than half a century of Israeli-Palestinian history.

"This truly remarkable book presents a powerful account of Palestinians and Israelis who try to break the seemingly endless chain of hatred and violence. Capturing the human dimension of the conflict so vividly and admirably, Sandy Tolan offers something both Israelis and Palestinians al too often tend to ignore: a ray of hope."—Tom Segev, author of One Palestine, Complete and 1949: The First Israelis
 
"This is a hard book to read with dry eyes and without a lump in one's throat. And it is hard to read, also, without feeling—dare one even say the word in speaking about the Middle East?—something approaching hope. Sandy Tolan has found a remarkable story, and has told it in all its beauty and sadness."—Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains and King Leopold's Gold
 
"This is a passionate and astonishing story through which some of the most extraordinary events of the twentieth century unfold. The inspiring lives of two unique people, and Tolan's compassion and cleverness in narrating them, illuminate the tragedy of Palestine in the most moving and revealing way. Readers will acquire a huge amount of knowledge while being carried along effortlessly through the epic events of war and peace in the Middle East."—Karma Nabulsi, Prize Research Fellow, Oxford University, and author of Traditions of War
 
"This fascinating book is a tapestry of compassion, grief, and hope about a land that has not been running short of any. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been one of the most bitterly disputed and extensively analyzed in the world, and yet only a few books can claim to grasp the human dimension of the conflict as honestly and thoroughly as this one. This painfully beautiful narrative lingers in the mind long after the book is over."—Elif Shafak, professor of Near Eastern Studies, University of Arizona, and author of The Flea Palace and The Saint of Incipient Insanities
 
"The affecting story of an unlikely truce, even a peace, between Palestinians and Israelis in contested territory. The symbolic center of radio documentarian Tolan's latest could not be simpler: In an old garden in the town Arabs call al-Ramla and Jews Ramla (neither name to be confused with the West Bank town of Ramallah, 20 miles away), a family cultivated a lemon tree that provided shade and refreshment for many years. When the Khairi family left al-Ramla, driven out in the Israeli War of Independence—a time Palestinians call Nakba, 'the catastrophe"—a family of Bulgarian Jews took over the property, which, as far as they knew, had been 'abandoned.' Drawing on interviews and oral histories, Tolan reconstructs the stories each family, Khairi and Eshkenazi, told about their respective displacements, the lands they left behind, those who died and were born. His book begins with the arrival of three young Palestinian men in Ramla shortly after the Six Day War; stopping at houses they had once lived in, they asked the new inhabitants whether they could step inside to see them. Only one woman, a Tel Aviv university student named Dalia Eshkenazi, assented. 'She knew,' writes Tolan, 'that it was not advisable in the wake of war for a young Israeli woman to invite three Arab men inside her house'; yet she did, and from that simple act, a sort of friendship evolved, even as events made Dalia more resolute in her defense of Israel and turned the oldest of the men, Bashir Al-Khairi, into a freedom fighter—or terrorist, if you will—in the Palestinian cause. Through broad sweeps of narrative going back and forward in time, Tolan's sensitively told, eminently fair-minded narrative closes with a return to that lemon tree and its promise of reconciliation. Humane and literate—and rather daring in suggesting that the future of the Middle East need not be violent."—Kirkus Reviews
 
"To see in human scale the tragic collision of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, Tolan focuses on one small stone house in Ramla—once an Arab community but now Jewish. Built in 1936 by an Arab family but acquired by a Jewish family after the Israelis captured the city in 1948, this simple stone house has anchored for decades the hopes of both its displaced former owners and its new Jewish occupants. With remarkable sensitivity to both families' grievances, Tolan chronicles the unlikely chain of events that in 1967 brought a long-dispossessed Palestinian son to the threshold of his former home, where he unexpectedly finds himself being welcomed by the daughter of Bulgarian Jewish immigrants. Though that visit exposes bitterly opposed interpretations of the past, it opens a real—albeit painful—dialogue about possibilities for the future. As he establishes the context for that dialogue, Tolan frankly details the interethnic hostilities that have scarred both families. Yet he also allows readers to see the courage of families sincerely trying to understand their enemy. Only such courage has made possible the surprising conversion of the contested stone house into a kindergarten for Arab children and a center for Jewish-Arab coexistence. What has been achieved in one small stone building remains fragile in a land where peacemaking looks increasingly futile. But Tolan opens the prospect of a new beginning in a concluding account of how Jewish and Arab children have together planted seeds salvaged from one desiccated lemon tree planted long ago behind one stone house. A much-needed antidote to the cynicism of realpolitik."—Bryce Christensen, Booklist
 
"Journalist Tolan captures the Arab-Israeli struggle in this story of a house and the two families, first Palestinian and then Jewish, who successively lived in it. Members of both families came to know one another and to seek dialog between Arabs and Jews. This wonderful human story vividly depicts the depths of attachment to contested ground. An excellent choice for general readers."—Library Journal
 
"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 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 . . . [A]s they follow Dalia and Bashir's difficult friendship, readers will experience one of the world's most stubborn conflicts firsthand."—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Sandy Tolan is the author of Me & Hank: A Boy and His Hero, Twenty-five Years Later. He has written for the New York Times Magazine and for more than 40 other magazines and newspapers. As cofounder of Homelands Productions, Tolan has produced dozens of radio documentaries for NPR and PRI. His work has won numerous awards, and he was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and an I. F. Stone Fellow at the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he directs the school's Project on International Reporting.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

drbilllong, December 4, 2006 (view all comments by drbilllong)
When Alan Paton published Cry, the Beloved Country in 1948, that heart-rending classic describing the seemingly hopeless racial conditions in South Africa only a year before the imposition of apartheid, I though that no better narrative, fiction or nonfiction, of the struggles between two ethnic or religious groups within a nation could be written. Now I know I was wrong. In this recently-released work, journalist and professor Sandy Tolan has entered into the heart of the Israeli/Palestinian problem through the hearts of two families, one Jewish (the Eshkenazi Landau's) and one Arab-Muslim (the al-Khairi's), whose stories are inextricably intertwined because of the accidents of history. What results is a gripping narrative, as hopeless as it is hopeful, filled with irony and passion, sadness and longing, as lives are buffeted by common events that often seem beyond not only human but also divine control.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781582343433
Subtitle:
An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Author:
Tolan, Sandy
Subject:
Middle East
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Palestinian arabs
Subject:
Israelis.
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20060502
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Middle East » Arab Israeli Conflict
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 304 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582343433 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Tolan's sensitively told, eminently fair-minded narrative closes with a return to that lemon tree and its promise of reconciliation. Humane and literate — and rather daring in suggesting that the future of the Middle East need not be violent."
"Review" by , "A much-needed antidote to the cynicism of realpolitik."
"Review" by , "This wonderful human story vividly depicts the depths of attachment to contested ground. An excellent choice for general readers."
"Review" by , "Through Tolan's thoroughly readable and exceedingly informative book, readers will gain deeper understanding of the beleaguered Palestinians and besieged Israelis who make only brief appearances in our evening newscasts."
"Review" by , "[I]t will certainly be one of the best works of nonfiction that you will read this year."
"Synopsis" by ,
The tale of a simple act of faith between two young people - one Israeli, one Palestinian - that symbolizes the hope for peace in the Middle East.

In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in.

This act of faith in the face of many years of animosity is the starting point for a true story of a remarkable relationship between two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the regio. In his childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, Bashir sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. As both are swept up in the fates of their people, and Bashir is jailed for his alleged part in a supermarket bombing, the friends do not speak for years. They finally reconcile and convert the house in Ramle into a day-care centre for Arab children of Israel, and a center for dialogue between Arabs and Jews. Now the dialogue they started seems more threatened than ever; the lemon tree died in 1998, and Bashir was jailed again, without charge.

The Lemon Tree grew out of a forty-three minute radio documentary that Sandy Tolan produced for Fresh Air. With this book, he pursues the story into the homes and histories of the two families at its center, and up to the present day. Their stories form a personal microcosm of the last seventy years of Israeli-Palestinian history. In a region that seems ever more divided, The Lemon Tree is a reminder of all that is at stake, and of all that is still possible.

Sandy Tolan is the author of Me & Hank: A Boy and His Hero, Twenty-five Years Later. He has written for the New York Times Magazine and for more than 40 other magazines and newspapers. As cofounder of Homelands Productions, Tolan has produced dozens of radio documentaries for National Public Radio and Public Radio International. His work has won numerous awards, and he was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and an I. F. Stone Fellow at the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he directs the school's Project on International Reporting.
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
 
In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramla, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in.

This poignant encounter is the starting point for a true story of two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the region. In Bashir's childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, he sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. Both are swept up in the fates of their people, and and their lives form a personal microcosm of more than half a century of Israeli-Palestinian history.

"This truly remarkable book presents a powerful account of Palestinians and Israelis who try to break the seemingly endless chain of hatred and violence. Capturing the human dimension of the conflict so vividly and admirably, Sandy Tolan offers something both Israelis and Palestinians al too often tend to ignore: a ray of hope."—Tom Segev, author of One Palestine, Complete and 1949: The First Israelis
 
"This is a hard book to read with dry eyes and without a lump in one's throat. And it is hard to read, also, without feeling—dare one even say the word in speaking about the Middle East?—something approaching hope. Sandy Tolan has found a remarkable story, and has told it in all its beauty and sadness."—Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains and King Leopold's Gold
 
"This is a passionate and astonishing story through which some of the most extraordinary events of the twentieth century unfold. The inspiring lives of two unique people, and Tolan's compassion and cleverness in narrating them, illuminate the tragedy of Palestine in the most moving and revealing way. Readers will acquire a huge amount of knowledge while being carried along effortlessly through the epic events of war and peace in the Middle East."—Karma Nabulsi, Prize Research Fellow, Oxford University, and author of Traditions of War
 
"This fascinating book is a tapestry of compassion, grief, and hope about a land that has not been running short of any. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been one of the most bitterly disputed and extensively analyzed in the world, and yet only a few books can claim to grasp the human dimension of the conflict as honestly and thoroughly as this one. This painfully beautiful narrative lingers in the mind long after the book is over."—Elif Shafak, professor of Near Eastern Studies, University of Arizona, and author of The Flea Palace and The Saint of Incipient Insanities
 
"The affecting story of an unlikely truce, even a peace, between Palestinians and Israelis in contested territory. The symbolic center of radio documentarian Tolan's latest could not be simpler: In an old garden in the town Arabs call al-Ramla and Jews Ramla (neither name to be confused with the West Bank town of Ramallah, 20 miles away), a family cultivated a lemon tree that provided shade and refreshment for many years. When the Khairi family left al-Ramla, driven out in the Israeli War of Independence—a time Palestinians call Nakba, 'the catastrophe"—a family of Bulgarian Jews took over the property, which, as far as they knew, had been 'abandoned.' Drawing on interviews and oral histories, Tolan reconstructs the stories each family, Khairi and Eshkenazi, told about their respective displacements, the lands they left behind, those who died and were born. His book begins with the arrival of three young Palestinian men in Ramla shortly after the Six Day War; stopping at houses they had once lived in, they asked the new inhabitants whether they could step inside to see them. Only one woman, a Tel Aviv university student named Dalia Eshkenazi, assented. 'She knew,' writes Tolan, 'that it was not advisable in the wake of war for a young Israeli woman to invite three Arab men inside her house'; yet she did, and from that simple act, a sort of friendship evolved, even as events made Dalia more resolute in her defense of Israel and turned the oldest of the men, Bashir Al-Khairi, into a freedom fighter—or terrorist, if you will—in the Palestinian cause. Through broad sweeps of narrative going back and forward in time, Tolan's sensitively told, eminently fair-minded narrative closes with a return to that lemon tree and its promise of reconciliation. Humane and literate—and rather daring in suggesting that the future of the Middle East need not be violent."—Kirkus Reviews
 
"To see in human scale the tragic collision of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, Tolan focuses on one small stone house in Ramla—once an Arab community but now Jewish. Built in 1936 by an Arab family but acquired by a Jewish family after the Israelis captured the city in 1948, this simple stone house has anchored for decades the hopes of both its displaced former owners and its new Jewish occupants. With remarkable sensitivity to both families' grievances, Tolan chronicles the unlikely chain of events that in 1967 brought a long-dispossessed Palestinian son to the threshold of his former home, where he unexpectedly finds himself being welcomed by the daughter of Bulgarian Jewish immigrants. Though that visit exposes bitterly opposed interpretations of the past, it opens a real—albeit painful—dialogue about possibilities for the future. As he establishes the context for that dialogue, Tolan frankly details the interethnic hostilities that have scarred both families. Yet he also allows readers to see the courage of families sincerely trying to understand their enemy. Only such courage has made possible the surprising conversion of the contested stone house into a kindergarten for Arab children and a center for Jewish-Arab coexistence. What has been achieved in one small stone building remains fragile in a land where peacemaking looks increasingly futile. But Tolan opens the prospect of a new beginning in a concluding account of how Jewish and Arab children have together planted seeds salvaged from one desiccated lemon tree planted long ago behind one stone house. A much-needed antidote to the cynicism of realpolitik."—Bryce Christensen, Booklist
 
"Journalist Tolan captures the Arab-Israeli struggle in this story of a house and the two families, first Palestinian and then Jewish, who successively lived in it. Members of both families came to know one another and to seek dialog between Arabs and Jews. This wonderful human story vividly depicts the depths of attachment to contested ground. An excellent choice for general readers."—Library Journal
 
"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 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 . . . [A]s they follow Dalia and Bashir's difficult friendship, readers will experience one of the world's most stubborn conflicts firsthand."—Publishers Weekly

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