Saturday, July 10, 2010

Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald

Veil of Roses
At the age of nine, Tamila Soroush donned a white hejab and participated in a religious ceremony in which religous men informed her that from that day on she could not run about freely, could not laugh too loudly, or play with any male not her brother. This is what happens to little girls in Iran. From that day on, women in Iran live hidden behind a veil. 

Tamila manages to barely escape a life of marriage (or prison, I should say.. same thing) to an Iranian man by getting a college education and becoming a teacher of young girls. When sending the nine year olds off to that above mentioned religious ceremony gets to be too much for Tamilia, tho, she finds herself unwed, unemployed, and living in her parents home at 27 years of age. So when she is presented with a ticket to America to visit her sister for three months, she jumps at the chance and sadly, but bravely leaves behind her parents and arrives in Arizona.

Has she gone from the frying pan into the fire tho? Tho Tamila tastes American style freedom, drinks coffee with men in the open, feels the sun on her face, takes pictures of whatever she wants, and attends an English class in which she makes some interesting friends, her freedom is still resticted. Her older sister is trying to find a Persian American man to marry Tamila before her visa expires. Tamila's options: A man who wants nothing to do with her and is already engaged to an American woman, a man with a very strange bug and cleanliness phobia, and a man who is gay but needs to please his parents. An non Persian American husband? Out of the question. Unfortuneately, as one Persian man after another is considered to wed Tamila, Tamila is falling in love with an American (non Perisan) man whom she met at the local Starbucks. Time is running out, her visa is about to expire, and if Tamila doesn't find the courage to attain what she wants, she is going back to Iran where she will once again, hide behind the veil.

Great story, had me completely hooked all night and day. There are some fabulous side stories too, involving an abused mail order bride and some of Tamila's quirky English class mates.

I got this book thru goodreads swap.

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