التاريخ والسياسة يحضران في هذه الرواية كسياق زمني يلقي بظلاله السوداء على المكان وشخصياته من دون أن يكونا صلب الحكاية. فسردية ليلاس معنية بالمقام الأول بما ينهش أفئدة شخصياتها ويؤرق وجدانهم وعقولهم من صراعات بين الخير والشر، بين الوفاء والغدر، الصدق والخيانة، المروءة والانانية
More on Al Hayat Newspaper جريدة الحياة
ومن جهتها قالت الدار الناشرة إن الرواية نجحت في “وضع أزمة معاصرة مثل أزمة اللاجئين في صدارة اهتمام عالم الأدب، وبطريقة تجعلها أزمة إنسانية يلمسها كل إنسان حول العالم حتى وإن كان لم يعايشها. ولا شك في أن موهبة ليلاس طه في رسم شخصيات تنضح بالعطف وتجيش بمشاعر حقيقية قد جعل الرواية تجتذب القرّاء الكبار والصغار على السواء
more on Aljazeera Arabic
[P]age-turning, heart-worming plot.
Women’s Review of Books magazine Vol33, No. 4, July/August 2016
[F]ramed by the title and recurring references, almonds serve as a metaphor for Palestine, referring to the fertile orchards left behind and the nostalgia felt by their former cultivators. Calling the book “Bitter Almonds” expands the metaphor to cover the refugees’ disappointments and hard experience, as well as the plot’s unifying theme — a great love that must traverse a long, difficult path to be fulfilled.
Read full review in The Jordan Times
Bitter Almonds is a poignant exposition of Palestinian Arabs living in perpetual exile from their homeland. This is another historical fiction story on a subject contrary to what readers usually hear and read about from this war-torn corner of the Middle East, where residents are currently being forced into exile again. Recommended reading!
Read full review by Historical Novel Society
[t]he novel deals poignantly with both the issue of drawing the boundaries of responsibility along familial lines and, by extension, along national lines, in the sense that filial responsibility is tied to national identity. In doing so, it offers a hopeful glimpse into the possibilities of family-building and belonging beyond blood-bound ties, which has profound implications for developing the larger, social, global family.
See full review in the Middle East Monitor
Lilas Taha’s great gift in BITTER ALMONDS is to create characters and scenes so richly resonant with life and vitality, that the complicated, lush world of the Middle East feels as tangible and close as any world you are living in. Crucial in our strange days? Perhaps more than anything.
– Naomi Shihab Nye
Author of Habibi
[A]n inthralling mix of history and Palestinian culture. Riveting.
In The City: Short book review in The Lady
Both an engaging romance and a convincing period drama.
Read full review of Lilas Taha’s bitter-sweet story about Palestinians in Damascus in The National
Lilas Taha’s Bitter Almonds is the gripping story of Palestinian exiles in Damascus who search for a sense of home and belonging. Set against the backdrop of political upheavals and wars, the author goes beyond headline news and skillfully portrays the characters as fully-realized human beings who cope with tangled relationships bound by complicated social customs. Written with compassion and a keen awareness of matters of the heart, this is a beautiful and moving tribute to the strength of the human spirit and the endearing power of love.
Author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, and The Promise
“Immigrant Lilas .. Using English” Conveys Arab Woes of Displacement
Full article in Arabic by Journalist Hanan Mutair at SABAQ24.PS News
Touching Hearts: An Engineer who writes from the heart, touching others.
Full Interview in Qatar Tribune
Join me for a conversation with Georgetwon University in Qatar on January 24, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. For more information click here
Let’s help out Houston residents affected by hurricane Harvey. All proceeds will be donated to the Harvey Relief Fund. Starting date pushed to September 16. Let’s work together on Novel Writing at the Fig Writer’s Studio in Houston. For registration and more details click here
Had uplifting and deep discussions with the book club ladies of the American Association of University Women AAUW- Fort Bend chapter on July 3, 2017.
“وفي ثنايا الرواية تفيض الروح الإنسانية والنضالات المعقدة التي يخوضها الأشخاص العاديون وهم يحاولون التغلب على ظروف حياتهم الاستثنائية” – More on Aljazeera Arabic المزيد على
“A love story rooted in history and Palestinian culture, Bitter Almonds is inspired by the tremulous events in the Middle East and author Lilas Taha’s family history.” – read more about Bitter Almonds in the Gulf-Times
Proud to announce that Bitter Almonds won the 2017 International Book Award in the Fiction-Multicultural category.
Sincere thanks to the members of the American Association of University Women AAUW Fort Bend chapter, Texas for an enlivening and heartwarming discussion. Honored to have been invited and included, February 2017.
A lively discussion, fantastic setting and a wonderful book club group at Nofa Creative Space, Amman Jordan.