Friday, May 19, 2017

Under the Almond Tree

32315737By: Laura McVeigh
Location: FIC MCV
Genre: Historical Fiction- refugees

“So when I feel most lost I choose to remember those things that help me survive. I choose love.”

Refugee stories settled inside of me at a young age- I Am David was one of the very first books I read that produced a deep inner reaction inside of me. Injustice, homelessness, discrimination and the share courage to survive that had to be displayed because of  the trauma of war- It infuriated me for all the right reasons and these books still do...


 If you lost everything you loved, how would you survive and begin again? Under the Almond Tree tells the story of one refugee family fleeing conflict and war in Afghanistan in the 1990s as they travel towards freedom and safety.

Fifteen year old Samar, the middle child, shares the story of her incredible journey on the Trans-Siberian Express - with the help of Napoleon, the Ticket Collector, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and her parents and siblings. Forced to flee Kabul as the Russians, then the Taliban, turn their lives inside out, the children and their parents face the loss of their world and their place in it.
Throughout, our storyteller Samar bravely holds onto family and hope, often when all survival seems impossible. With the true strength that comes from love, learning and imagination, Samar reveals her extraordinary resilience and the discovery that anything may be possible - if you can just hold on to hope and love.


The story is told from a train on the Trans-Siberian Railway, with flashbacks to a yellow house in Kabul, where Samar’s family lived, with an almond tree in its garden. Slowly, the tale of how Samar became a refugee begins to unfold. During the telling of the tale, you will meet her parents and grandparents, her brothers and sisters, her friends and the friends of her family, and several really nasty and unpleasant people. You will also discover that Samar has a really powerful imagination, and that this is one of the things that helps her to survive.

You will also discover that she is immersed in books, and that “Anna Karenina” has a very special attraction for her. The passionate love between Anna and Vronsky appeals to her, as does the throwing of all caution to the winds.- David

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