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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-05-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Nobel Laureate Ebadi's latest (after Iran Awakening) is a moving memoir about the family of her closest friend, Pari, with whom she grew up. "Our mothers had been best friends since they were five or six years old," she writes. "It was a childhood friendship, born from a handful of almond cookies, but it had managed to endure..." Ebadi is Iranian (her Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for her work with women and children there) and the bulk of the story takes place in Tehran. Readers with some knowledge of 20th-century Iranian history will best understand the many details of her tale, which focuses on Pari's three brothers: the loyalist Abbas, middle child Javad (who becomes an extremist), and youngest son, Ali, a military officer. Their stories are each devastating and tragic, but Ebadi's true sympathies lie with women, and it's in telling their tales that Ebadi's writing is best. What's more, the stories of Pari, her mother, and of Ebadi herself give the memoir a humanist scope, making it accessible for those who may lack compassion for the selfish and violent choices made by the men. (Apr.)