Reviewed by- linda (2009/12/22, 12:29 AM)
(3.5 stars) A simple plot made complex with a backdrop of the post Iranian revolution and the many threads running through it, the most dominant being injustice and fear. Itís immediately engaging as it opens with the arrest of Issac Amin, a wealthy Tehran gem dealer, who is wrongly accused of being a spy. The story follows his imprisonment and the toll it takes on him and his family. The chapters are told alternately from the perspective of the different family members and relatives allowing the reader to witness the small and large effects of this disruption to their lives and the uncertainty they lived with. The regime in power is brutal and corrupt making the outcome for prisoner and family unpredictable. Sofer gives voice to the dangers of prejudice for individuals and communities, as she pulls in historical and political details of this unstable time in Iranian history. Much of this book is based on the authorís personal experience; her father was suspected of being a spy and her family was forced to flee Iran when she was age ten. Her writing reflects her memories and interviews with surviving prisoners, giving the story an honest undertone. I enjoyed the wonderful prose of this book but did feel it lacked a certain edge, leaving me feeling unengaged with the characters at times. It was long listed for the 2007 Orange Prize and a New York Times Notable book of the year.Back.