Book Review: Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali

pomegranateThe first in Tariq Ali‘s Islam Quintet series, Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree is the riveting tale of a 15th century Moorish Muslim family trying to survive the Spanish Inquisition. We follow the individual stories of each family member– the parents and their children, some grown– through their personal lives. Amidst their conflicts and romances are their unique approaches to dealing with the war at hand, and the dreaded decision whether to fight back and die, or abandon their faith. We are also introduced to the customs, practices and beliefs of an Islamic family in 15th century Andalusia, with detailed descriptions of their cuisine, dress and textiles, and geography. An educational, beautiful and heartbreaking story – one of my all-time favorite novels.

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