Author– Sanchit Gupta
Previous Works– Debut Novel
Publishers– Niyogi Books
Number of Pages– 278
Inspired by true events, this riveting narrative traces the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar, three childhood friends who grow up in an atmosphere of peace and amity in Srinagar, Kashmir, until the night of 20 January 1990 changes it all.
While Deewan is forced to flee from his home, Safeena’s mother becomes ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal has to embrace a wretched life of poverty and fear. The place they called paradise becomes a battleground and their friendship struggles when fate forces them to choose sides against their will.
Twenty years later destiny brings them to a crossroads again, when they no longer know what is right and what is wrong. While both compassion and injustice have the power to transform lives, will the three friends now choose to become sinful criminals or pacifist saints?The Tree with a Thousand Apples is a universal story of cultures, belongingness, revenge and atonement. The stylized layered format, fast-paced narration and suspenseful storytelling makes for a powerful, gripping read.
A paradise lost and a friendship that flickered past the winds of intolerance, The tree with a thousand apples is a story of the scattered lives of Deewan, Safeena and Bilal.
A war-torn Kashmir that ruins the lives of the ones seeking peace and the ones who have a heart for the good. The book is written to make the reader feel the plight of the natives of Kashmir who survived the night of January 1990, to either become runaways or to stay to be prisoners in their own lands.
The book starts with Safeena who journeys to meet Bilal and then the plot shifts to their younger peaceful days in Kashmir when they used to team up with Deewan, Kashmiri Pandit for their mischievous endeavors.
The days of peace didn’t last for long when the war for a “free” Kashmir led to a massacre of the Pandits forcing Deewan and his family to flee leaving Bilal and Safeena behind , who were forced to live miserable lives with whatever that was left of their families.
Tortured by both the security forces and the militants, Bilal and Safeena give into rage in order to avenge their loss along with a Deewan who still suffers for his past.
Will they find the justice they deserve or the wish to lead a normal life come with a price?
Read The tree with a thousand apples to find out.
The tree with a thousand apples is one of the best books that I read in 2017.
The book comes in hardcover, sporting the beautiful cover of a tree with apples that mirrors itself with a tree which is dead with the apples remaining.
The story is written in a lucid manner and the plot execution is fluid.
Nowhere between the pages would one feel like skipping a few parts.
Heart-wrenching and yet one would like to go through the torment as this is a story one cannot afford to miss.
The book reveals the side of Kashmir that no poet sings about, it speaks of the fateful night and the days of pain that followed.
Cover- 4.5 stars
Title- 4.5 stars
Blurb- 4 stars
Plot- 4 stars
Writing and Presentation- 4 stars
Overall- 4.2 out of 5 stars
There were times while reading the book, where the reader needs to know a little more but the book denys the wish to do so. For example, how Bilal escaped PAPA-2 is still a mystery.
The content is worth every minute that you are going to spend on the book.
Reviewed By- Banaja Prakashini