Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali

SOTPT-FShadows of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali sets up a basic duality of Islam and Christianity. It is the first of The Islam Quintet.  also traces the history of the clan of Hassan Banu Hudayl, complete with a family tree at the beginning of the novel (Ali 6). Family trees are extremely helpful, as are glossaries at the end of a novel. However, both seem to be important feature in foreign texts where words are not understood or even characters are too many (Rushdie and Marquez’s novels). The pomegranate tree is situated in the courtyard of the family, where two generations of daughters (aunt and niece) fall in love and meet their lovers.

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