Aria PDF/EPUB ✓ Paperback
Tehran 1953 81, from the coup that brought the Shah back to the coup that brought Khomeini Follows the life of a baby left in the gutter. The setting is Tehran, Iran the era 1950 s, during the Iranian revolution that replaced the Shah with the Ayatollah Khomeini The history told in this book is fascinating We are told the story through the eyes of an orphan girl, Aria During this tumultuous time, in a country wealthy with oil, people were feeling trapped and left powerless and voiceless Aria was found in an alleyway just days after her birth, by a good and kind man who was a driver in the Iranian army He gave her this name and took her home to his wife who cursed and yelled and said she didn t want this baby She treated this child horribly as she grew up That really bothered me Then Aria came to know a kind woman who took her in and sent her to school Aria also helps another family of children learn to read, falls in love with a soldier and becomes a mother herself.I thought the book was too long it dragged on and on about a lot of minutiae Thus it lost a star for me for the length, of which I had to skim towards the 3rd quarter of the book. Aria is a stunning and heartbreaking novel I was captivated the whole way through. When she was a mere few days old, Aria s mother abandoned her in an alley in Tehran, Iran Aria is the story of the orphaned girl growing up amidst the revolutionary struggle for power in Iran in the 1950 s The book is split into four parts, each based on the four mother roles in the book.It is difficult to give this book a fair rating because although I did my research as I read along, I still do not have a full grasp on what took place in the novel Owing in large part to my own ignorance on the Iranian revolution as well as my lack of knowledge on the topography and culture in general in the middle east, I found Aria difficult to follow and constantly had to stop to look things up.If you do pick this one up, I strongly recommend you do not read it before bed Aria is a realistic depiction of the unrest, the violence and the crudeness that took place in Iran during the revolution, so be prepared for graphic descriptions and heartbreaking outcomes for a lot of the characters.I am disappointed to say that I fear I missed most of the poetic beauty in the book for struggling to read than a few chapters at a time It didn t flow well for me The last part of the story in my opinion was the best, and unfortunately the shortest Where the others dragged on with seemingly monotonous details, the final part was jammed with realizations and explanations I can certainly appreciate why so many have already fallen in love with Aria, but it wasn t my taste I am a sucker for a silver lining and struggled to find one here. Through the eyes of Aria, as she grows from discarded baby to university student and young mother, we get a highly personal view of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 I was impressed that Hozar s debut novel delves into the complexity of the history of modern Iran Nothing is presented as black and white Torture and executions happened under both the Shah and Ayatollah Nor was the revolution simply about Islam versus communism as people from a variety of backgrounds came together to overthrow a corrupt government Hozar s characters come from a variety of social classes and situations, but all defy stereotypes This heartbreaking book is one I ll revisit. Modern day, Persian storytelling at it s best that poignantly looks behind Tehrans multicultural past that lead up to Ayatollah Khomeini s Iranian revolution in 1979.Nazanine Hozar writes beautifully about a girl s struggle for survival during a time when poor uneducated women had few choices available to them when faced with real life death issues Aria a cast of well developed characters literally jump off the page pull you into their daily lives through complex highly emotional storytelling It s a powerhouse of a Domestic saga that will keep you reading well into the night Superb writing deserves 4 stars. This extraordinary, gripping debut is a rags to riches to revolution tale about an orphan girl s coming of age in Iran It is the early 1950s in a democratic but restless Iran, a country newly powerful with oil wealth but unsettled by class and religious divides and by the politics of a larger world hungry especially the West for its resources One night, a humble driver in the Iranian army is walking through a rough area of Tehran when he hears a small, pitiful cry Curious, he searches for the source, and to his horror, comes upon a newborn baby abandoned by the side of the road and encircled by ravenous dogs He snatches up the child and forever alters his own destiny and that of the little girl, whom he names Aria Thus begins a stunning and revelatory debut that takes us inside the Iranian revolution but as seen like never before, through the eyes of an orphan girl The novel is structured around each of the three very different women who find themselves fated to mother the lost child first, the working class, reckless and self involved Zahra, married to the kind hearted soldier then the wealthy, careful and compassionate Fereshteh, who invites Aria into her compound and adopts her as an heir and finally, Aria s biological mother, Mehri, whose new family Aria discovers in adolescence A final section, Aria, takes us through the brutal revolution that installs the Ayatollah Khomeini as Iran s supreme leader, even as Aria falls in love with a revolutionary and becomes a young mother herself Here is a sweeping, unforgettable, timely saga that brilliantly humanizes people trapped and left powerless and voiceless by an unjust world people no different from those in the west, wanting love, kindness, belonging and freedom of thought. Finally, the complex, multi layered novel that Iranian revolution deserves, that the great nation of Persia deserves peopled with the Jews, Zoroastrians, royalists, various kinds of Muslims, communists, agnostics, poor people, rich people who have given Persia its rich history..Dr Zhivago meets Dickens meets The device of choosing marginalized peoples within their own society to tell the stories and ask questions allows Hozar to explore Iranian society in grounded, multi faceted, non ideological ways. I won this book in a Goodreads give a way and received it promptly in the mail The book is presented beautifully with thick paper and rough edges making it lovely to hold.This novel touched my heart in it s portrayal of men and woman caught up in a brutal world where injustice and poverty reigns The writing was flawless and beautiful I did struggle a bit with all the characters but I loved the central characters, especially Aria Wonderful ending 3 Stars I wanted to like this book so much but felt it could do with a lot of editing because there were a lot of useless actions throughout It reminded me of the Kite Runner, but not as beautifully constructed The historical setting was a good starting place and the author using children coming of age to show the growth of the Iran revolution was enough to keep me reading It could be better.