Review of The Septembers of Shiraz

Septembers of Shiraz

Septembers of Shiraz

Iran is going through a very turbulent time in its history. The Shah has been ousted and a new regime is starting to settle in. For Isaac Amin, a gem dealer and an Iranian Jew, he’s arrested at his shop and is taken away for ‘questioning’. Meanwhile, his family; his wife and young daughter are caught by themselves and suddenly feel the enemy very close to home. Farnaz, (Isaac’s wife) goes on the search for her husband, at the same time suspecting her household staff of being informers. Isaac’s daughter, Shirin, is also surrounded by those that might betray her or her family and she also attempts to do something about it in her own childlike way. Parviz, Isaac’s son is safe in the US, but yet he feels like an outcast and is struggling with his identity and happiness in a new country alone.

I felt for Farnaz and Shirin the most. They were alone with no information on Isaac. I thought Farnaz did her best to deal with Isaac’s arrest even though their marriage wasn’t  exactly what you called perfect. I was very impressed how Shirin dealt with her father being arrested. Especially when she did hide those files. It might have made a difference and with that little act, it could have saved some lives.

The story was well written and did tug on a lot of emotions while reading. Isaac’s time in prison was filled with despair and you could feel his hope fading away as he counts the days of his time spent there. The book was filled with close calls, and immediate suspicion among characters as to who’s playing the role of informant. As a reader, you could really feel Shirin’s tension and fright over being exposed for what she’s done.

I wasn’t sure what to make on the separate story arc on Parviz. It was interesting as he was struggling with his own identity, yet I felt that it wasn’t as interesting as the main story arc that was taking place in Iran. I felt as if that story arc was added just for the sake of adding more to the plot.

Overall, the story is beautifully written and emotional. There is an inkling of hope at the end of the novel and the reader is only left with wonder at the outcome of the characters in the book. I do recommend others to read this book. There’s not many you see that takes place in Iran in this particular time in history.

I give it a 8 out of 10.

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