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This is a delightfully written novel which describes life in Iran from before the 1979 revolution to 2001. In evocative language, the Author portrays the life of women and men in a religiously dominated Iran. It is a heart warming volume which taught me much about women in Iran.
An intriguing insight into the loss of freedom experienced by young women under the regime of male dominance 'legitimised' by reference to 'cherry picked' interpretations of long outdated religious doctrine.
I really enjoyed this book - it's well written and very enlightening about life in Tehran. Being married to an Iranian, i have some insight into the culture and this gave yet another angle on cultural contemporary Iranian life. That said, it's a very accessible book for anyone and the story keeps you hooked throughout the book. If you like getting into the psyche of people and how and why they tick, this is a book for you.
This book definitely deserved "The Virgina Prize of 2009" as it is a very readable first novel. It could be a later novel as it moves well and gives great visual pictures of a young lady living in modern day Iran. It gave me glimpses a very different life from ladies her age in America. The family has many interesting characters that keep the readers attention. It moves easily from events in 2001 Iran to earlier events in 1980 - 1991 that impacted her life. The inclusion of common Farsi words in the text(defined in a glossary) added to the Persian flavor of the story. The story keeps the reader wanting to keep reading and the ending is not what I expected. I hope Mrs. Black will write more based on her mixed experiences from having lived in England, Iran and many other countries(See her biography on Amazon).
Despite being of a different time, the story is really reflective of the glimpses I get of Iran as an expat; a people who love their land but so conflicted between the love of their country and what they would like to see of their nation. A proud people, who want to be able to be a part of the world but also independent. The characters in the book represent the many faces of Iran and it is such a beautiful story.