Caspian Rain

Caspian Rain

A Novel

Book - 2007?
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In the decade before the Islamic Revolution, Iran is a country at the brink of explosion. Twelve-year-old Yaas is born in Tehran, into an already divided family: Her father is the son of wealthy Iranian Jews who are integrated into the country's upper-class, mostly Muslim, elite; her mother was raised in the slums of South Tehran, one street away from the old Jewish ghetto. Yaas spends her childhood navigating the many layers of Iranian society. Her task, already difficult because of the disparity in her parents' worldview, becomes all the more critical when her father falls in love with a beautiful woman from a noble Muslim family. As her parents' marriage begins to crumble, and the country moves ever closer to revolution, Yaas is plagued by a mysterious, terrifying illness. But despite her ailment, when she learns that her father is about to abandon her and her mother-to immigrate to America with his mistress-Yaas is determined to save herself and her family. At once a cultural exploration of an as-yet unfamiliar society, and a psychological study of the effects of loss, Caspian Rain takes the reader inside the tragic and fascinating world of a brave young girl struggling against impossible odds.
Publisher: San Francisco : MacAdam Cage, [2007?]
ISBN: 9781596922518
Characteristics: 298 p. ; 24 cm


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crankylibrarian Jun 02, 2013

I have rarely read a sadder, or more beautifully told book. Yaas, the 10 year old narrator, relates the history of her parents' tragic marriage, then flashes forward to her own role in the network of disappointments, betrayals and reproaches that ensnare them all. Her parents are both Jews in mid 1970s Iran, but whereas Omid, her father is from a wealthy, near assimilated family; her mother Bahar is a "ghetto Jew" the kind "who give Jews a bad name". Attracted by Bahar's spirited optimism, and over the strenuous objections of both families, Omid marries her, but then abandons her emotionally,falling under the spell of the mysterious and glamorous Niyaz before the wedding is even solemnized. Defeated of all her dreams, Bahar withdraws into bitterness and rage, made all the worse by her disappointment in her imperfect daughter. Yaas, the physical evidence of her mother's failure, is determined to hold her family together, yet ultimately realizes that "there's such a thing as too much hope". Interweaving strands of magical realism with darker threads heralding the oncoming Iranian revolution, Nahai's lyrical reverse fairy tale touches the heart.


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