Mr B's review
A sweeping character epic set in Iran during the build-up to the 1979 revolution and the overthrow of the Shah. Adopted Aria is wilful and spirited, witnessing cruelty and kindness and questioning everything – a dangerous mindset in an unstable society.
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
‘A sweeping saga about the Iranian revolution as it explodes . . . a Doctor Zhivago of Iran’ Margaret Atwood
1950s Tehran. In an alleyway an abandoned baby cries into the night, attracting the attention of the young man who will save her.
And so begins the story of Aria, an orphan girl who comes of age on the volatile streets. As Aria grows she is torn between the three women fated to mother her: the harsh wife of the man who rescued her; a wealthy widow, who offers her refuge but cannot offer her love; and the mysterious Mehri, whose secrets will shatter everything Aria thought she knew about herself. And then, just as the political turmoil in the country deepens, Aria falls in love with a boy caught on the wrong side of the revolution . . .
‘Sweeping, cinematic and oh-so-gripping’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Leaves you simultaneously heartbroken and full of hope’ Sunday Times
‘Warm-hearted, compelling, hugely enjoyable’ Times
‘Spellbinding’ Mail on Sunday
‘Explores the darkness and hope of a city on the brink of revolution . . . Epic. An impressive debut, not easily forgotten’ Observer
An alluring and enlightening read * Irish Times * An impeccable debut of a young girl’s odyssey in the Iranian Revolution * Foyles newsletter * Nazanine Hozar’s stunning debut takes us inside the Iranian revolution – but seen like never before, through the eyes of an orphan girl . . . heart-pounding * Asia House Arts * Epic in scope . . . Hozar is a courageous and talented writer, excellent at capturing emotional complexity and interrogating her themes * The Irish Independent * An epic tale of turmoil in Iran. Its skilful blending of personal and political drama, along with its broad scope, richness of setting and vitality of character, gives it something of the quality of [Doctor Zhivago] * Guardian * The skilfully told story of a young woman struggling to find her place in intolerant, revolutionary Iran * i * Nazanine Hozar’s immaculate first novel follows a group of Iranians in the lead-up to the 1979 revolution and marks the arrival of a major new voice * Alex Preston, Observer * This rags-to-riches-to revolution tale about an orphan girl’s coming of age in Iran is sweeping, cinematic and oh-so gripping. In it we follow Aria as she searches for belonging and falls in love amid the political tumult of her age * Sunday Telegraph * Set in a vibrantly depicted Tehran and spanning a 30-year period leading up to the 1981 Iranian Revolution, Hozar’s serpentine narrative shows how the inequality and corruption of Iranian society under the Shah gives way to something more sinister…it’s a spellbinding debut * Mail on Sunday * A beautiful book set against the pains and passions of the Iranian Revolution . . . It is a book about a particular time and place yet also, and perhaps more importantly, about the common hopes and intimate longings of lives so forcibly invaded by national events * Hisham Matar, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Return * Aria is a feminist odyssey, about a girl in a time of intolerance as the revolution in Iran is breaking out … a poised and dramatic historical novel with contemporary relevance A sweeping saga about the Iranian revolution as it explodes – told from the ground level and centre of the chaos. A Doctor Zhivago of Iran Warm-hearted, compelling, hugely enjoyable * Times * Explores the darkness and hope of a city on the brink of revolution . . . Epic. An impressive debut, not easily forgotten * Observer * An affecting portrait of the Iranian revolution . . . leaves you simultaneously heartbroken and full of hope * Sunday Times *
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