Title: Veil of Roses
Author: Laura Fitzgerald
Release Date: December 26, 2006
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Multicultural Fiction, Chick Lit
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
Tamila Soroush wanted it all. But in the Islamic Republic of Iran, dreams are a dangerous thing for a girl. Knowing they can never come true, Tami abandons them. . . . Until her twenty-fifth birthday, when her parents give her a one-way ticket to America, hoping she will “go and wake up her luck.” If they have their way, Tami will never return to Iran . . . which means she has three months to find a husband in America. Three months before she’s sent back for good.
From her first Victoria’s Secret bra to her first ride on a motor scooter to her first country line-dance, Tami drinks in the freedom of an American girl. Inspired to pursue her passion for photography, she even captures her adventures on film. But looming over her is the fact that she must find an Iranian-born husband before her visa expires. To complicate matters, her friendship with Ike, a young American man, has grown stronger. And it is becoming harder for Tami to ignore the forbidden feelings she has for him.
It’s in her English as a second language classes that Tami finds a support system. With the encouragement of headstrong Eva, loyal Nadia, and Agata and Josef, who are carving out a love story of their own, perhaps Tami can keep dreaming—and find a way to stay in America.
I really enjoyed Laura Fitzgerald’s One True Theory of Love [review], so I was looking forward to going back and reading Veil of Roses, which was her debut novel. I enjoy the blend of chick lit and multicultural fiction that she utilizes, as well as the fact that she tackles deep issues within her novels. Veil of Roses was a very enjoyable read that didn’t disappoint.
My favorite aspect of Veil of Roses was the discussion of life in modern Iran for women. It’s an especially timely read since international eyes have really been on Iran for the past few months. Through Tami, Fitzgerald puts a human face on the whole situation. When I read about Tami being frightened after singing in public or walking around without her head covered, my heart broke a little. It’s so difficult to remember to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States. Fitzgerald really captures the sad situation in Iran and opens her readers’ eyes to it without making Tami seem pitiable or sad.
Indeed, that’s another thing I really enjoyed about Veil of Roses – how strong Tamila was. She was an amazing character who never gave up, no matter what she was facing. She was also loyal and stayed true to her culture; I appreciated the struggles she went through, trying to reconcile her new life and her old. I enjoyed getting to know her; she’s the type of person I could see myself being friends with.
I also liked the aspects of Persian culture that Fitzgerald introduced the reader to in Veil of Roses. It’s always nice to learn new things while you’re enjoying yourself, and I certainly did that. I love how similar Persian culture is to Indian culture – it makes you realize how similar we all really are!
Veil of Roses was a really wonderful read. It’s a light book that is easy and enjoyable to read, but that doesn’t mean it’s fluff. This novel tackles some deep issues regarding oppression, culture clashes, and family. This is a book that I highly recommend!