Title: Rooftops of Tehran
Author: Mahbod Seraji
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: Historical Fiction, Multicultural Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
In a middle-class neighborhood of Iran’s sprawling capital city, 17-year-old Pasha Shahed spends the summer of 1973 on his rooftop with his best friend Ahmed, joking around one minute and asking burning questions about life the next. He also hides a secret love for his beautiful neighbor Zari, who has been betrothed since birth to another man. But the bliss of Pasha and Zari’s stolen time together is shattered when Pasha unwittingly acts as a beacon for the Shah’s secret police. The violent consequences awaken him to the reality of living under a powerful despot, and lead Zari to make a shocking choice…
I am a huge fan of multicultural literature and have read a few books on the Iranian revolution. I think it’s a fascinating time period. What I haven’t read much about, though, is the years before the revolution, when the Shah of Iran felt the instability of his rule. He was relying more and more on the Americans and his secret police, the SAVAK, to maintain his grip on the country. Rooftops of Tehran recounts this turbulent time period through the eyes of Pasha, a 17-year-old boy.
I thought that Rooftops of Tehran was a touching novel, though it was never sappy or cheesy. I got involved with all the characters, especially Pasha and Zari. Since the novel is told in flashbacks, it is clear that the story is leading towards tragedy. Sometimes this technique is frustrating, but Seraji uses it very well in this book.
I loved the sense of community within Rooftops of Tehran. Pasha’s neighbors were all close to one another. They were united and tried their best to be happy, despite the fact their country seemed to be falling apart around them. They did their best not to live in fear. It was great, but also sad, knowing what was coming for them. Still, the novel ended on a very hopeful note!
I really enjoyed Rooftops of Tehran. It was engaging, humorous, and very easy to read. If you are looking for a book in the multicultural fiction genre but don’t want anything too heavy, this would be a great choice!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review!