Septembers of Shiraz

Septembers of Shiraz

by Dalia Sofer
4.0 32

Hardcover

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The Septembers of Shiraz 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I couldn't put it down. It brings a personal glimpse into post-revolutionary Iran and also makes the reader think about themes such as the pursuit of wealth and the importance of family. My husband's family still lives in Iran and I really enjoyed getting a feel for the complex class, war, religious issues in the early 80s.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am so glad that I stumbled over this book. Together with Khaled Housseins two books this is one of the best books that I have read this year. It is so intriguing and imposisble to put down. The plot is amazingly realistic and even my husband who prefers to read non-fiction couldn't put this book down until it was over and then we both were sad that there was no more of the book. Hope to get more from this promising author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe this is Sofer's first book. Normally, I'm not inclined to buy debut novels - regardless of how good the reviews are. Also, I'm even less likely, generally, to buy hardcover books. I've got plenty of work-related stuff to lug around daily, so paperbacks are simply easier on my back. This book, however, was an exception. Indeed, it is exceptional. I started reading chapter 1 in the bookstore, thinking I'll skim a few lines before heading over to the 'new in paperback' table. But I was hooked. It didn't grab me aggressively like a mystery or action novel. I can't explain it, really. It just made me want to sit down right there in the store and keep reading. Indeed, the subject is compelling and the book does begin with a dramatic event. But Sofer's prose is so eloquent - it makes you want to keep reading simply for the joy of reading, as well as to find out what happens. As for my dilemma - whether to buy or not to buy? Well, there were no comfortable places to sit in the bookstore, so I took the plunge and bought it. I deliberately read it slowly to maximize the pleasure from my investment. Then, I re-read it and enjoyed it even more.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1981 in Tehran, the Revolutionary Guards arrest Jewish gem trader Isaac Amin at is his business office accusing him of espionage. The real reason for his incarceration is religion as the Ayatollah led Muslim fanaticism has taken the country. Besides being Jewish and affluent, Isaac, like any business man in Iran, did have loose ties to the fallen regime of the Shah, but those who hold him prisoner for seditious acts need no proof to do so.----------- As Isaac observes torture and execution, he worries what will happen to his wife Farnaz and their daughter Shirin. He thanks God that their son Parviz attends college in Brooklyn. Although he has no way of knowing what is happening to his two females as contact is forbidden, he has cause to fret about their safety. Farnaz is spiraling into an out of control depression as she anguishes what to do. Shirin is outraged at the persecution of her father and she steals documents from the father of a playmate the man runs the prison where her dad has vanished inside. In Brooklyn, Parviz, who was not very religious to start with, has deeper doubts with his father¿s arrest and struggles with surviving as he is suddenly poor he also has fallen in love with a devout Hasidic.---------- This is a deep historical fiction tale that warns the audience that religious prejudice harms individuals, families and communities regardless of the group claiming God¿s blessings. However, the key to this well written thought provoking cautionary tale is the Amin family. Each took for granted their status under the Shah choosing to ignore the atrocities and the threats to their lives once the upheaval occurred. Thus the Guard sees the Amin family, especially Isaac, as part of the problem. Dalia Sofer provides a poignant family drama using a twentieth century pivotal point as the catalyst.---- Harriet Klausner
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
I felt for Farnaz and Shirin the most. They were alone with no information on Isaac. I thought Farnaz did her best to deal with Isaac's arrest even though their marriage wasn't exactly what you called perfect. I was very impressed how Shirin dealt with her father being arrested. Especially when she did hide those files. It might have made a difference and with that little act, it could have saved some lives. The story was well written and did tug on a lot of emotions while reading. Isaac's time in prison was filled with despair and you could feel his hope fading away as he counts the days of his time spent there. The book was filled with close calls, and immediate suspicion among characters as to who's playing the role of informant. As a reader, you could really feel Shirin's tension and fright over being exposed for what she's done. I wasn't sure what to make on the separate story arc on Parviz. It was interesting as he was struggling with his own identity, yet I felt that it wasn't as interesting as the main story arc that was taking place in Iran. I felt as if that story arc was added just for the sake of adding more to the plot. Overall, the story is beautifully written and emotional. There is an inkling of hope at the end of the novel and the reader is only left with wonder at the outcome of the characters in the book. I do recommend others to read this book. There's not many you see that takes place in Iran in this particular time in history.
CathyB More than 1 year ago
The Septembers of Shiraz is an amazing debut novel. Ms. Sofer eloquently depicts the struggle that Jewish jeweler Isaac Amin and his family face after the Iranian revolution of the 1970s. The prose is beautiful and has an underlying sadness to it - obviously due to the subject matter (fear and suffering). The Amin family (Isaac, Farnaz, Shirin and Parviz) are fully developed, realistic and will remain with you long after the story ends. Enjoy the following excerpt: She peers inside the shop through the glass. Nothing is left but dusty shelves, and a glass filled with turbid tea on the counter, along with a half-eaten sandwich, surrounded now by ants---Shahriar Beheshti's final lunch. "Looks like they got him recently." The Septembers of Shiraz I believe that Ms. Sofer is an author to watch for in the future. I know I will be looking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shifting narration helps tell multiple aspects of a family in an extreme situation, it's gripping, richly detailed, and it was difficult to put down.
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I wasn't engaged 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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