Book Set In Iran

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Books set in Iran - The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
By Packabook Travel Novels 
It is two years after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution and Isaac
Amin is arrested by the Revolutionary Guard. Not only is
Isaac a successful businessman, he is also a Jew, and is
suspected of being a spy. As this novel develops we fol ow
Isaac and the members of his family as they attempt to deal
with his imprisonment and decide what they must do to
protect themselves.
Through the eyes of Isaac's wife Farnaz, his daughter Shirin, and his son
Parnaz - we experience the fear of having a loved one taken away, with no
idea when they might return. And at the same time, the world around them
becomes increasingly dangerous.
Sofer has a beautiful light touch in this novel which immediately drew me
in, despite the grim subject matter. She also has an excel ent sense of
detail, focusing on those smal observations which bring the country and
setting alive.
A novel like this always makes you question your own ability to deal with
such a situation. Would you run, or would you stay? Could you leave
everything you had ever worked for behind, or would you hang on to your
past (and money!) in the hope that things would soon improve? And would
you be as brave as both Farnaz and Shirin, who put themselves in
dangerous situations to protect others, and to seek out the truth?
I love novels that teach me something about history, and while this book
doesn't focus on the Revolution itself, I was grateful to learn something of
its aftermath – and the chaos and confusion that can take place after such
a major political change. It seems appropriate that I read it just after
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Tunisians had overthrown their autocratic leader, and while Egyptians were
protesting in Tahrir Square cal ing for the ousting of President Mubarak. It
was hard not to draw paral els, and wonder what would be happening in
Egypt in the months and years ahead if their revolution was to succeed.
There are also many times in Septembers in Shiraz in which we are taken
back to times before the Revolution, giving us a glimpse of what life in Iran
was like then, for those with money. This was a ‘Westernized’ Iran in which
women had far greater freedoms and religion was a choice, quite different
from the country it is today. It shows just how quickly change can come.
My only disappointment with this book was the ending. It felt rushed after
the gentle flow of the rest of the book, and did not hold the tension it
needed. But other than that I would highly recommend Septembers in
Shiraz for anyone wanting to know a little more about the changing face of
This is just one of many books set in Iran we feature at
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