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The Stationery Shop Bets On...

The Stationery Shop

June 2019

THE STATIONERY SHOP by Marjan Kamali is a beautifully written book that is full of emotion and heart. I loved it and already can see it will be one of my favorite books of 2019.

It is set in Tehran in 1953 against the backdrop of the political upheaval in Iran. In it, Roya has fallen in love with Bahman, a young boy who loves Rumi's poetry; they are both 17. A small stationery shop is where they meet, and their relationship blossoms under the kind eye of the proprietor of the shop, Mr. Fakhri. The two plan to be married on August 19th, against their family’s wishes, but an uprising thwarts their plans, and Roya loses track of Bahman in the tumultuous days that follow. Sixty years later, they meet again in California, and Roya will get a moment to ask the questions that have haunted her for decades.

I knew so little about Iran during this time period, beyond the fact that there was political unrest. Marjan does a brilliant job of describing the political climate for other novices. These were terrifying days, and the tension that was felt throughout the country is palpable on the pages. The book is full of traditions and the bonds of family, which can both strengthen and strangle a person.

As I read this, tensions between Iran and the United States were ratcheting up. So much in history repeats itself. There is a lot of emotion packed into these pages, and I dare you to see the aha moments that unfold. I saw none of them coming.

I think book groups will want to devour it --- and serve some Persian food during their discussions.

The Stationery Shop
by Marjan Kamali

  • Publication Date: February 11, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • ISBN-10: 1982107499
  • ISBN-13: 9781982107499