Author: Mahbod Seraji
Publisher: Center point Large print
Price: Rs 499
Genre: Historic fiction
Ratings: 4 out of 5
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From the book cover
In this poignant, eye-opening and emotionally vivid novel, Mahbod Seraji lays bare the beauty and brutality of the centuries-old Persian culture, while reaffirming the human experiences we all share.
In a middle-class neighborhood of Iran's sprawling capital city, 17-year-old Pasha Shahed spends the summer of 1973 on his rooftop with his best friend Ahmed, joking around one minute and asking burning questions about life the next. He also hides a secret love for his beautiful neighbor Zari, who has been betrothed since birth to another man. But the bliss of Pasha and Zari's stolen time together is shattered when Pasha unwittingly acts as a beacon for the Shah's secret police. The violent consequences awaken him to the reality of living under a powerful despot, and lead Zari to make a shocking choice...
I loved the retreat of rooftop chat between two thick friends and I couldn't wait to complete it..Pasha's and Zari's love is something one can only get to read in books, for now days love stands for a different meaning and dimension..This novel brought back all the romantic tale that I read as a teenager ...Sitting under a tree hsring a moment of silence, those glances, silly moments with the loved ones flint a smile across my face...Pasha's and Ahamed's conversation are a real delight, this would carry the reader to the good old teenage days filled with friendly chat and humor so full of laughter and life..When their conversation focuses upon Faheemeh and Zari Naderi ( whom Pasha eyes) their naughty glimmer shines in eyes......Pasha's feelings for Zari is put across the reader strongly and one doesn't mind those fantasies even when the news of Zari's engagement floats.. Ahamed manages to get on Fahemeh inspite of the odds while Pasha's keeps his feelings for Zara a secret...I also liked a Pasha's struggle as a son to keep up with his father's expectations, coming in terms with his own ambitions.. He adores his father yet can't relate to his expectations..Shah's tyranny on Iran is put in a different vantage here, rather pointing on the lives of people around the country and their sufferings the whole novel revolves around the beauty of love and care of family and friends... In spite of all the difficult times all the characters try to move their life as normal as possible surrounding themselves with laughter and joy...That doesn't mean life was easy, very possible step is taken to hurdle independent thoughts and life,with spies all around life becomes hard when the people find it difficult to trust anybody around...Life for these friends too take a different journey, reminding themselves to think before acting, losing their carefree days, this was a put off not only for them but also for the reader...Novel is staged during the violent period of Iranian history from 1973 to 1974... Teenage life is given an extra bit of carefree zone, with nothing much to worry about spending days dreaming high rather running for life after the political strife..To make it memorable there is an evergreen quote from Seraji
" Never take life seriously, you'll never get out of it alive"
There is a stack contrast of life that brings upon tonnes of memories flooding down, reminiscent s of great days that they were forced to leave behind...Seraji's description about Iranian culture and lifestyle was enlightening..It had a such a feel good aura that I wanted to be in those alleys of Iran , wonderful market and those sunny days over the rooftop sharing a cup of tea talking light heatedly with my gang of friends .. This book is kind of book to cuddle over a weekend..The book is an easy breezy read with its share of tragic twists and turns ., nowadays I can't get on with a story where everything goes well , does that make me a sadist?? well I would say a realist...Just grab and enjoy the read...