Genre: Historical Romance
1953, Tehran. In a small shop in a country on the brink of unrest, two people meet for the very first time.
Roya loves nothing better than to while away the hours in the stationery shop run by Mr Fakhri. The store, stocked with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick wads of writing paper, also carries translations of literature from all over the world. Bahman, with his burning passion for justice, is like no one else she has ever met.
But all around them, as their relationship blossoms, life in Tehran is changing.
Suddenly, shockingly, violence erupts: a coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future, as well as their own.
My verdict: A beautiful story during a time of political uproar and a time where equality for woman was at the forefront of most liberal families minds. This book is complex written in five parts and combines many juxtapositions such as wealth and poverty, social class and the intertwining of western and eastern ideals. The descriptions and emotions are so vivid that you feel as though your wrapped up in the turmoil yourself. A beautiful love story with many challenges almost like an eastern version of Romeo and Juliet who share a love of philosophy and knowledge. Fans of the little coffee shop of Kabul and girls of Rhiyad will love this emotive and fragrant love story in a time of uncertainty. Absolutely adored Roya and Banham, although one thing I would advise when reading this book is to not take things at face value, their are many hands involved in what the culture believes ‘That your fate is already written on your forehead that we cannot see’ How ironic is this sentiment! I also love this quote from the poet Rumi ‘True loves are not found but forever and always intwined with each other from the very beginning and at the right time, are bought together.’
This book shines a light on a rich and vibrant culture who at the time of the narrative were quiet progressive in attitudes regarding women and education. However because of the negative bias from the media towards this culture like many things this is not always shown. An enlightening read.