Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani, pub. June 2013, 288 pg.
Rating: 4/5 stars
I have always been a huge bookworm. In high school and throughout my college career, I’ve taken as many literature classes as possible, mostly so I could be exposed to as many new books as possible. While I’ve enjoyed much of the required reading I’ve been given over the years, my favorite books have always been those that deal with hot-button issues or help me understand cultures I haven’t had much exposure to. I get the most satisfaction out of a book that can make me think and teaches me things while also being fun to read.
I loved Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani for many of these reasons. The novel takes place in Tehran, Iran, and spans from the early 1980s until present day. It focuses on the children and families of the revolutionaries who worked to overthrow Iran’s government during the Iranian Revolution, and it follows the children from the time they are small until they reach adulthood and have to face many of the same issues their parents did.
It’s an extremely intricate book that intertwines the stories of different families and individuals. Many of the parents are in jail when the story begins. Two of the children the story focuses on are even born while their mothers were serving prison sentences. I loved seeing how all the different puzzle pieces of the characters’ lives fit together and watching the ones who start out as toddlers grow and mature into young adults.
The chapters alternate between the perspectives of the characters, and often years pass between chapters, so the next time we see a familiar character, they have drastically changed. I really enjoyed this because I felt that I got a really well-rounded view of the situations the many families and children faced, and it was interesting trying to piece together what happened in the years that pass between chapters.
Delijani has a beautiful way of writing. She manages to set a delicate tone, but she doesn’t shy away from the hard details of how life was for many during the revolution. READ THE FULL REVIEW AT THE DAILY QUIRK!