Ichmad Hamid is from Palestine, and his story takes place from 1950-2010. He is a gifted mathematician who struggles to help support his family from a very young age. His family is living in occupied territory, and they must do as the military demands. When his father is wrongfully imprisoned Ichmad struggles to maintain his ideals and avoid the hate his family is rapidly succumbing to. He must choose between feeding his family and getting an education.
Knowing his father wants him to get an education to have hope of success in life, Ichmad struggles to get his education against many of the odds against him. He tries to live up to his father's ideals and advice. It is moving to read about the hardships Ichmad suffers with poverty, lower wages because of his race, his father's imprisonment, prejudice professors, and overcoming his fear of the Israelis.
I won this book in the Goodreads First Reads Program*. I found it to be a captivating book. I liked that the author told the Israeli/Palestine conflict from a Palestinian perspective. It is a view that is not often portrayed in the West, although that seems to be slowly changing. I also liked the emphasis in the story of the need to form relationships with people to create understanding.
I thought that was a completely engrossing book. Despite the hopelessness that is present throughout the book, there are moments of beauty that give you kernels of hope. This is a poignant story that will stir strong emotions, and make you reevaluate what is important in your life. I recommend reading this excellent book.
*The Goodreads First Reads program does not require winners to give a review. Winners are encouraged to review the book, as the authors and publishers offering the books for free are trying to get the public interested in their book. If a review is given, it is not stipulated that it should be positive or negative, only an honest review.