Ghaffari weaves each character’s deep history into the novel, creating a very complete world. Her poetic prose relays deep and intimate emotion in a single line; its richness makes characters’ joys and tragedies palpably felt by readers, too. This is a beautifully written story of a family’s upheaval and its roots in their own history.
Ghaffari does a beautiful job of weaving the building tensions of the country into the idyllic orchard family gatherings, so the looming revolution surrounds the characters until it’s upon them ... Despite the lazy nature of the afternoon family lunches, no inertia is felt in this novel. In small moments and conversations, layers of tension build until the revolution is upon them. Secrets are revealed, a marriage unravels, and violence escalates.
Although Nasreen and Madjid’s romantic plotline sometimes veers into predictable territory, the story’s generous emotional core offsets it in a nuanced, character-driven exploration of a formative moment in a country’s complicated history ... An evocative and deeply felt narrative portrait.