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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A COUNTRY DIVIDED BY REVOLUTION A PEOPLE UNITED BY LOVE Neda is born in Tehran’s Evin Prison, where her mother is allowed to nurse her for a few months before the arms of a guard appear at the cell door one day and, simply, take her away. In another part of the city, three-year-old Omid witnesses the arrests of his political activist parents from his perch at their kitchen table, yogurt dripping from his fingertips. More than twenty years after the violent, bloody purge that took place inside Tehran’s prisons, Sheida learns that her father was one of those executed, that the silent void firmly planted between her and her mother all these years was not just the sad loss that comes with death, but the anguish and the horror of murder. These are the Children of the Jacaranda Tree. Set in post-revolutionary Iran from 1983 to 2011, this stunning debut novel follows a group of mothers, fathers, children, and lovers, some related by blood, others brought together by the tide o…

Overall Book Review:

Children of the Jacaranda Tree is a powerful and deeply moving narrative. The book follows a fictional extended family as they try to survive the years of political instability and revolution in modern-day Iran. Author Sahar Delijani actually bases the story off of her own family’s harrowing experiences. While Delijani provides little background information or facts about Iran’s troubles, she successfully emphasizes the physical and emotional toll theseevents took on its citizens. 

Despite the heavy subject matter, Delijani’s words are beautiful and poetic. Breathtaking metaphors, rich symbolism and heartfelt scenes dot each page. As characters try to repair torn families and shattered dreams, I couldn’t help applauding Delijani’s work and feeling hopeful for the Iranian people. I recommend reading Children of the Jacaranda Tree, as it gives a voice to the thousands who suffered in silence.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Atria

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 4 religious exclamations, 1 mild obscenity

Violence/Gore: Several implied occurrences of violence, as well as second hand reports of attacks and executions; a scene of violence were police attack a woman who subsequently miscarries; in a non-detailed scene of violent death, a group of men are hanged.

Sex/Nudity: A few incidents of kissing; one clinical depiction of nudity; a few sexual references; several implied or reported accounts of sexual activity. 

Mature Subject Matter:

War and revolution, murder, death of a family member, underage drinking

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Characters drink and smoke; underage drinking occurs in one brief scene

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.