Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani

Article published on July 23, 2015.

 

Tehran 1983 – a city paralysed by fear, its people silenced. The beating heart of the regime is Evin prison. Within its walls, three women dare to dream of a life beyond tyranny.

The three women and a baby girl, born in prison, share a cell for a few months. The people who work in the prison are brutal, not just physically but mentally and emotionally.

The author states that she wanted to collect experiences from her family and turn them into fiction. I understand this and to a certain extent think she succeeded. However, the book falls apart as its reads like separate stories which supposedly have a commonality but in some cases the link is tenuous to say the least.

There are lots of characters but this in itself causes confusion and I found a constant need to refer back to the start of the book to see which family they belonged to. It was difficult to get to know or care about individual characters.

However, on a positive note, it felt so real in places I was there and could almost smell the food.

The book has been billed as similar to The Kite Runner but, as far as I am concerned, I could not see the similarities. It is well written but not for those with weak constitutions. It is harrowing in places and, for this reason, I would struggle to call the book ‘enjoyable’ but am glad to have had the opportunity to read of some of the atrocities which happened and are still happening in my lifetime.

Sometimes in the West we are unaware of what is going on in other parts of the World and this book gave a flavour of Tehran at that point in time.

Dorothy Flaxman, Bude

Personal Read 3

Group Read  3

Children of the Jacaranda Tree by  Sahar Delijani is published in pbk by W&N on 26 March, 2015

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