In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

26 October, 2012

Book Review:Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald

Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: December 26, 2006

Tamil Soroush is depressed. Living in Iran as a teacher at a girls school, she becomes depressed. The regime ruling the country and it's anti women laws are smothering her dreams. Her parents, who have had their passports confiscated and cannot leave the country manage to get her a passport, and a visitor's visa to go visit her older sister in the United States. The unspoken wish is for her to be able to find a husband who is a citizen so that she does not have to continue to live in her home country.

When she steps off the plane in Tuscon, she is overwhelmed with the differences between the countries. She enrolls in an English language class, and starts to really explore the freedoms that she sees as taken for granted here in America. As she documents her experiences through photographs that explore these "little freedoms" and makes friends she id followed by the threat of "if I don't get married I have to go back home and may never get a chance to come here again."

Her culture is one that follows the custom of arranged marriages. She is resigned to the fact that she will get married and then grow to know her husband. This is challenged when she meets and falls in love with Ike, an American barista at Starbucks who is not Persian, not financially stable, but who loves her for herself. When the man she is arranged to marry presents her with a prenuptial agreement that includes a clause that states that if there is a divorce Iranian laws concerning custody would be followed, Tamil knows she can not get married. The threat of losing her future children and not being allowed contact if divorced is one that she will not have hanging over her marriage.

With the date of her return to Iran as an unmarried woman looms closer, Tamil wonders if her life will include the happiness that she dreams of.

This chick-lit book was one that I absolutely loved. I was drawn into Tamil's conflicts between the way she was raised in Iran and the freedoms she experiences as she starts her travels in the United States. While the book does gloss over the way women are treated in Iran under it's very religious rule, it humanized the struggles experienced there in a very engaging way. This story, like most chick lit books had a happy ending but what amazed me was the fact that it was one that was not just "The main character falls in love and gets married." Instead it focused on Tamil embracing her dreams and learning to live life for herself as well as the man she loves. I loved the fact that while her family expected her to follow tradition and marry a man from her culture in order to stay in America, they stood by her when she falls in love with someone who is not what they expected.

This was a sweet and thought provoking story that I could not put down.(less)

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