From the back of the book: In the aftermath of the Iranian revolution, rare-gem dealer Isaac Amin is arrested, wrongly accused of being a spy. Terrified by his disappearance, his family must reconcile a new world of cruelty and chaos with the collapse of everything they have known. As Isaac navigates the terrors of prison, and his wife feverishly searches for him, his children struggle with the realization that their family may soon be forced to embark on a journey of incalculable danger.
I read this book for a discussion later this month. Sofer writes from personal experience. Her family fled Iran in the early 80s after her father was released from prison (he was wrongly accused of being a spy). She writes smoothly – making it a bit easier for the reader to take in the horrible details of a tumultuous time. That said, she didn’t make it an “us against them” story. Yes, it is apparent who the enemy was but perspectives of both sides are presented.
The Amin’s son Parviz was sent to the US to avoid being drafted into the war. Their daughter Shirin is 10 years old. Once word is out at school that her father is imprisoned she finds herself almost friendless. Farnaz, Isaac’s wife, worries that she can’t take care of her daughter. She’s overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do about her husband. She doesn’t know who can be trusted – even their housekeeper (who has worked for the family for many years) is acting differently toward Farnaz and Shirin.
The story moves quickly after Isaac’s release from prison. Isaac realizes he must get his family out of the country. Sofer takes us on the journey. I recommend the book. I’d like to read a sequel to this story.
I found the P.S. section quite interesting. Included are articles about the author, the book, and some author recommendations of books about Iran and other favorites.