On an autumn day in London, the dark secrets and troubled past of Maryam Mazar surface violently with tragic consequences for her pregnant daughter, Sara, and her newly orphaned nephew, Saeed. Wracked with guilt, Maryam is compelled to leave the safe comfort of her suburban home and mild English husband to return to Mazareh, the remote village on ...
On an autumn day in London, the dark secrets and troubled past of Maryam Mazar surface violently with tragic consequences for her pregnant daughter, Sara, and her newly orphaned nephew, Saeed. Wracked with guilt, Maryam is compelled to leave the safe comfort of her suburban home and mild English husband to return to Mazareh, the remote village on Iran's north-east border where her story began. There she must face her past and the memories of a life she was forced to leave behind when her father disowned her for a sin she did not commit. Back in England, Sara takes care of Saeed and her distraught father as she tries to understand what has happened. Together they begin to unearth Maryam's story from memories, photographs and a few lines of poetry. In her quest to piece their life back together, Sara follows her mother to Iran, to discover the roots of her unhappiness and to try and bring her home. Far from the terraced streets of London, among the snow-capped mountains and wind-swept plains that have haunted her mother's dreams for half a century, Sara finally learns the terrible price Maryam once had to pay for her freedom, and of the love she left behind.
Very good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Help save a tree. Buy all your used books from Thriftbooks. Read. Recycle and Reuse.
Very good. Ex-Library Book-will contain Library Markings. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Green Earth Books is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Very good. Ex-Library Book-will contain Library Markings. Book has appearance of only minimal use. All pages are undamaged with no significant creases or tears. With pride from Motor City. All books guaranteed. Best Service, Best Prices.
I've really started to enjoy Mid Eastern based fiction. I was looking forward to this one but was fairly disappointed. In fact, I just abandoned it after reading half the book. It didn't really hold my interest. I usually enjoy books which jump back and forth between characters, locales, and/or timeframes as this one did but the writer has to employ some distinctive tactics to keep the reader from being confused during this process. This author didn't really succeed in this. I was constantly trying to figure out character/place/time she was writing about and since I wasn't interested I decided it wasn't really worth the effort to continue.
Jul 8, 2008
An unexpected pleasure!
I found this book quite by accident; the cover intrigued me first. Then, the flyleaf synopsis of the story captured my imagination and interest. The story about the mother and daughter reminded me somewhat of The Joy Luck Club. I actually found the story profoundly sad because of the unfairness of life. It doesn't matter what part of the world or what your culture/history, sometimes bad things happen to good people, so the old cliche goes. It is hard to endure tragedy not of your own making. What happened to the mother, Maryam, at the hands of her father all for the sake of honor is just sickening. I could empathize with Maryam and her feeling of being torn between two worlds and two loves. I also feel for Maryam's daughter Sara and nephew Saeed because they are swept up in the tragedy and drama without knowing why. Over all, this was a very enjoyable book, even though the story is sad. I did feel a sense of hopefulness while at the same time, a sense of wondering whether Maryam stays in Iran or returns to her husband in England. The descriptions of the locales struck my imagination. I do believe this is the author's first novel, and it is very well done. The ending is somewhat abrupt and ambivalent, but perhaps that as it should be because life doesn't always have happy endings.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-02-26 Crowther's debut novel paints a vivid double portrait of a spirited mother-daughter pair, first- and second-generation immigrants to England from Iran whose relationship grows turbulent when shadows from the mother's past begin to overwhelm her. This beautifully produced reading starts with the bright voice of Ariana Fraval as Sara, the daughter, but it is soon overtaken by the darker, melodically accented tones of Mehr Mansuri as Maryam, Sara's mother. Maryam returns to the tiny village where she grew up to come to terms with her past, especially with the ghost of her father and with her first love, Ali, who has been waiting for her return. As Maryam journeys through Iran and back into her memories, and then induces Sara to come too, Mansuri's voice takes on myriad emotional shades, from wonder and delight to sharp regret and painful uncertainty. Intervals of Persian-inflected music helps set an exotic yet contemplative mood. Fraval and Mansuri's authentic pronunciation of the occasional foreign words allows listeners to be swept up by Crowther's lovely, haunting story even more easily than when reading it for themselves. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover. (Reviews, Oct. 2). (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-10-02 Maryam is the willful daughter of an Iranian general who backed the Shah of Iran during the (U.S.-backed) 1953 coup that toppled Iran's prime minister, Mossadegh. In the midst of the turmoil, and with the threat of an arranged marriage hanging over her, Maryam is sheltered one night by her father's trusted assistant, Ali, a young man near her age 16 for whom she feels a shy attraction. And though still a virgin the next morning, their feelings for each other are clear. Maryam is sent away by her aloof father ("she is no daughter of mine"), a painful memory that, decades later, shatters her settled marriage to an understanding if pained British husband, and bewilders and angers her own daughter. A 40-year separation from Ali and a tender reunion in a remote village are just a few turns of the intense plot, full of tragic coilings and romantic passion, that make this a wonderfully intricate debut novel. Crowther, daughter of a British father and an Iranian mother, powerfully depicts Maryam's wrenching romantic and nationalistic longings, exploring the potency of heritage and the pain of exile. (Jan. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.