In Nineteen Fifties Iran, spiritual and nationalist fervor may be sparked with the aid of final names, loyalties and extraordinary appearances. Against this backdrop, a discarded girl with a boy’s call matures in a man’s world. Through this woman’s journey, Iranian-born author Nazanine Hozar’s debut novel strains the reign and overthrow of the Shah of Iran via Ayatollah Khomeini’s dramatic go back to energy.
Young Aria, rescued as an toddler with the aid of a sensitive military driver but abused by way of his irritated wife, endures early censure and ridicule because of her blue eyes and pink hair. Her life is marked by department and strife, however she grows up defiant and strong, thinking wherein she came from. Everyone she encounters—from her youth friend Kamran, to her rich school friends Hamlet and Mitra, to people who recognize the reality approximately her delivery mother—have an impact on her path. She learns and loves, is going to school, wrestles with the moving politics of her country, subsequently marries and has her personal child amid the Iranian Revolution.
Hozar’s brilliant depictions of every day lifestyles in the divided city of Tehran floor Aria in stark reality. Modernity strains towards the confines of an area wherein the past constantly has a foothold—wherein history maintains being rewritten and a new future staged, where power changes hands, often brutally.
Hozar’s perceptive writing falters at times, and the plot meanders distractingly. But early poetic chapters and the novel’s thrilling climax draw the reader in. One thing is clear: Pain propels us, however so do services of love. Aria accepts each in her existence, and they change into the need and perseverance she wishes to survive.