This is as personal as a book can be. The Cypress Tree is a book about Kamin Mohammadi’s journey from her native land of Iran to London, and then back to Iran as a grown adult. The Cypress Tress is ideal as an introduction to Iranian culture, and it also gives a clear picture of the country’s recent history.
Kamin was just nine years old when her family fled Iran during the 1979 Revolution, and so had grown up in England for much of her life. She tells her touching story of fond memories of Iran at such a young age and of her teenage years in London. The book discusses Kamin’s personal struggles, including her own identity, where in London she felt as though she had turned her back on her roots. Desperate to fit in with English ways of life, food and freedom, she was perplexed by the seismic changes of her homeland. She went from a land of many limits to a new place where most social behaviour is widely accepted. This is all well discussed in such great detail with such sincerity. Her return back to London from Iran as an adult, opens her eyes up even more and makes her appreciate her new adopted home to such a greater extent. This is greatly touching and arguably relatable to anyone who knows both the Western and Middle Eastern worlds in depth.
What makes The Cypress Tree such a good read, is how personal Kamin writes it. She really lets us into her entire family. She involves so many members in her book. So many, that you may frequently have to refer back to the front of it, where there is a key describing who everyone is. She tells very touching stories of her family, from their ordeals and problems, but what holds them together is such a beautiful and strong family bond, and that is the core of the book.
The Cypress Tree is the perfect read for anyone who wants to have an introduction to the land of Iran. With frequent references to natural features, sights and smells of the country, you really engage into both a sensory description of the country and daily life there, whilst becoming familiar with the historical period and a time of great change for the country. Above all, The Cypress Tree is a heartfelt story of growth, change and adaptation, going from one home to another.