The Septembers of Shiraz, by Dalia Sofer

2012 Book 97: The Septembers of Shiraz, by Dalia Sofer (6/30/2012)

Categories: International Fiction (Iran), Award Winners (Orange Prize Longlist), Historical Fiction (Iranian Revolution)

Reason for Reading: I read this for Orange July as well as for the Middle Eastern literature theme read

My Review 3.5/5 stars
As an Iranian secular Jew, Isaac Amin’s life is swept off-course by the Iranian revolution when he is arrested on false charges of being a Zionist spy. Septembers of Shiraz follows the stories of Isaac, his wife Farnaz, and his two children. I should have really liked this story: the cultural setting is interesting and the frightening circumstances should be emotionally engaging. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel any emotion about the characters until the last third of the book. I’m not sure why this was…they just seemed distant. This fact is unfortunate since an emotional bond to the characters is really all this book had to offer me. I didn’t learn anything new about the Iranian revolution or the types of problems non-revolutionary citizens faced, since I’ve already read other books on the subject. Not that the story is boring or unoriginal, quite the contrary. I think it would be an excellent book for someone who hasn’t read much on the subject of the Iranian Revolution, or for someone who loves reading books on the subject.

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