Darya has discovered the perfect gift for her daughter's 25th birthday: an ideal husband. Mina, however, is fed up with her mother's endless matchmaking and grading of available Iranian American bachelors.
After Darya's last ill-fated attempt to find Mina a husband, mother and daughter embark on a journey to Iran, where the two women gradually begin to understand each other. But after Mina falls for a young man who never appeared on her mother's spreadsheets and Darya is tempted by an American musician, will this mother and daughter's tender appreciation for each other survive?
©2013 Marjan Kamali (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
I must admit that I had fairly low expectations going into this book. I thought it'd be one of my shameful treats (Fair warning: Reviews of "Stay" and "Dogs Aren't Men" coming. See? Shameful treats!). I expected light writing, adequately developed characters, and not much in the way of plot.
How different this turned out to be. A young woman, trapped between the world of Iran she grew up in and the America she seems to be floundering in. A mother who desperately misses her life in Iran and who feels frustration about stagnation, fear that her children are wholly foreign to her, and who misses the life she could've had. Not your usual mother/daughter story.
What I really enjoyed, if you can call it that, is the second part of the book that deals with their past in Tehran. I was a pup during the whole Iran Revolution/Hostage Crisis/Iran-Iraq War, so this was a history, a painting of life that put faces to the whole thing. It added a sense of fear, horror and heartbreak that we, those far away from any crisis, seem smugly not to notice or think about. It was so well-developed!
And who gives a narrator, for heaven's sake, 5 stars? I do! Because Negin Farsad was icing on a pretty terrific cake. She doesn't make the mistake of turning men into nothing but low, growly voices. She just reads them, their words, with warmth and emotion.
This is a wonderful, wonderful book that I'll be using another credit for... 'cause I know my mom would love it. Mothers and Daughters? We're just that way, aren't we?
This book was so well written. A lot of attention was given to enlightening the reader as to cultural values in Iran...Some of which are brought to America by Persians now living here. I was born and lived in the Middle East until I was 10 years old. My family would travel to Iran on vacation. This book awakened those memories of smells, flavors, sounds..etc.
I always wondered, as I watch the TV news, what life is like for people in war torn countries. This story explained life in Iran, coming to America and finding the changing family dynamic. Each character’s personality shown in the story and I found I wished these characters were my real life American neighbors. The two love story lines, both different, were fresh and new in the field of romance novels. This is a wonderful story.
All of the scenes in Iran were so well painted by the author. Though I will never likely see Tehran myself, it was enjoyable to be brought into the country and culture through her words. A much different picture than our media has depicted.
Being unfamiliar with Iranian ways of speaking myself, Farsad was able to add that dimension perfectly, creating a fuller story for me. The accents and tones were so beautifully executed.
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