Though steeped in grim political realities, the novel reads like a tall tale ... Azar strikes a remarkable balance between the fantastical and historical fact. What unites these two fronts is an exactness, by way of enumeration and time, which lends credibility to both aspects of the narrative. Events are chronicled with exaggerated precision ... Elsewhere, steps are enumerated, as if navigating a treasure map. What is inexact, however, is the toll of violence ... We can only estimate the number of lives lost in the Islamic Revolution and its violent aftermath.
... a work of magical realism with plenty to unpack ... The family’s struggles intertwine with magical happenings in the lives of others, and the spirit world populates as much of the novel as do the living. Nods to poetry and literature make the parables of The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree engaging, tantalizing, and memorable.