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As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh


As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh
UK Publication: September 2022
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★★★]

This ARC was provided by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

One word review – Devastating

Synopsis from Goodreads: Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. She still had her parents and her big brother; she still had her home. She had a normal teenager’s life.

Now Salama volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors daily. Secretly, though, she is desperate to find a way out of her beloved country before her sister-in-law, Layla, gives birth. So desperate, that she has manifested a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of her imagined companion, Khawf, who haunts her every move in an effort to keep her safe.

But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, Salama is torn between her loyalty to her country and her conviction to survive. Salama must contend with bullets and bombs, military assaults, and her shifting sense of morality before she might finally breathe free. And when she crosses paths with the boy she was supposed to meet one fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all.

Soon, Salama must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are—not a war, but a revolution—and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria’s freedom.

My Thoughts: Wow for a debut novel this book is definitely punching.

I knew almost nothing about the situation in Syria before going into this book and now I believe everyone should read this to understand what is going on, to see the beautiful and uniquely individual people behind the news stories.

Katouh delivers a devastating treatise on what life is like in Syria for those wanting freedom from military rule and those who have no political leanings but are merely interested in living their own lives or in other words the innocent children.

This book has dark moments, very dark moments but overall it is a story of hope and love. I enjoyed the human love story, but I loved the story of love of country even more. I hope one day Syria will be the free country that the characters envision and that the lemon trees keep on growing.

Who would like this?  I would recommend this to everyone only by understanding the world can we make it a better place. Be warned though It’s been a while since a book made me cry but this one did just that.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Gail #

    I will look for it. It sounds like a must read.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 7, 2022

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