Why did I choose this book?
I found it a tiny bookshop in Apollonia, the main village in Sifnos, a small Cyclades Island. There I browsed and bought this novel set in Tehran. I chose it because it is an area of the world I know so little about. I hoped to gain an understanding of the lives of the people there, as well as enjoy a good read while on holiday.
Did you feel empathy for any particular character?
Roya’s story of forbidden love discovered in a bookshop made me warm to this headstrong young lady straight away. I also liked the bookshop owner Mr Fakhari for ‘turning a blind eye’ to their love. He had hidden motives you will learn as you read.
Is there a lasting thought or memory of the book which remains with you?
As the blurb says ‘an unforgettable ending.’ There are so many unexpected twists and turns in this novel. It make you think, ‘has a villain usually got an excuse to behave the way he or she has?’ and ‘can their actions ever be justified?’
The book did leave me with a sense of peace, but I can’t tell you how, otherwise it would be a spoiler!