Non Fiction Book Club to discuss The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan - Thursday, January 2, 2014
It’s amazing and humbling to see that our Non-Fiction book club has meet now for three solid years. Now, I love talking books, but there is something even more enriching in the conversation that a group of people get together to talk about a book they all recently read. You do not have to synopsis a book for someone who hasn’t read it or hammer at your foggy memory for the facts and the shape of a book you read in the past. It is rare in today’s media saturated culture to have the opportunity for such a considered, congenial, and informed discussions. I am honored to be a part of it and thankful for it. The reading train moves on…
We will be discussing “The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East” by Sandy Tolan at our next meeting January 2, 2014 – 6:30PM.
Summary from Book Jacket:
In the summer of 1967, not long after the Six Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramala, 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 named Dalia, who invited him 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 devistated by the Holocaust. Both are swept up in the fates of their people, and their lives form a personal microcosm of more than half a century of Israeli-Palestinian history.
What began with a simple act of faith between two young people grew into a dialogue of four decades that represents the region’s hope for peace and self-determination. Written with grace and compassion, The Lemon Tree is a reminder of all that is at state, and all that is still possible.
About the Author:
Sandy Tolan is a teacher and radio documentary producer. He is the author of Me and Hank: A Boy and His Hero, Twenty-Five Years Later (Free Press, 2000), about the intersection between race, sports, and American heroes.