The story of twin brothers Ruzbeh and Behruz, torn apart by war and the love of a woman, The Lemon Grove paints a vivid portrait of cultural change and family strife in 1980s Iran. Performer Casey Jones' deep, soothing baritone sounds at home amid the pastoral lemon grove of the twins' elegiac childhood, but as innocence gives way to the chaos of war, Jones' reveals the regret and betrayal that cleaves at the brothers. Jones has a knack for accents and dialects, capturing the shifting cultural landscape as Behruz travels to America in search of a new life. As brother Ruzbeh struggles with violence and poverty in war torn Iran, Behruz is moved by a growing desire to return home and set things right.
Identical twins Ruzbeh and Behruz are at the center of Ali Hosseini's debut novel in English - a story about love, redemption, and the courage to survive in the face of calamity and loss. The novel begins in the small town in southern Iran where the boys were raised and in their summer home which is surrounded by a lemon grove. Their idyll is shattered by personal and geopolitical events. Both boys fall in love with Shireen, a childhood friend. Behruz goes to America to escape the pain of competing for Shireen's affections. Ruzbeh fights in the Iran/Iraq war and ends up alone and wandering the streets. When Behruz returns to Iran to help his shell-shocked brother, he finds the country devastated by revolution and war. His return sets off a string of events that change all their lives.
There are many interesting characters in this novel, and the narrator interprets them all very well. The novel has a sad, nostalgic taste, but with a touch of optimism. The only thing I disliked, was the end. It seems to me like an abrupt, unfinished ending to a very rich and descriptive novel.
Would you consider the audio edition of The Lemon Grove to be better than the print version?
Probably because reader is great at making this book come to life.
What other book might you compare The Lemon Grove to, and why?
The other books by this writer and the country they are about. All of this authors books give a vivid picture of the surroundings and the families that the books are about.
Have you listened to any of Casey Jones’s other performances? How does this one compare?
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Love and hardship in war torn surroundings.
Any additional comments?
I cannot wait for this authors next book.