|The Rooftops of Tehran|
From the publisher's description:
"In a middle class neighborhood in Iran's sprawling capital city, seventeen-year-old Pasha Shahed spends the summer of 1973 on his rooftop with his best friend, Ahmed, joking around and talking about the future. Even as Pasha asks burning questions about life, he also wrestles with a burning secret. He has fallen in love with his beautiful neighbor Zari, who has been betrothed since birth to another man. And despite Pasha's guilt ridden feelings for her, over the long, hot days his tentative friendship with Zari deepens into a rich emotional bond.
But the bliss of those perfect stolen months is shattered in a single night, when Pasha unwittingly acts as a beacon for the Shah's secret police. The violent consequences, awakens Pasha and his friends to the reality of living under the rule of a powerful despot, and lead Zari to make a shocking choice from which Pasha may never fully recover.
In a poignant, funny, eye-opening and emotionally vivid debut novel, Mahbod Seraji lays bare the beauty and brutality infused in the centuries old Persian culture, while reaffirming the human experiences we all share: laughter, tears, love, fear, and above all, hope."
This is a touching love story of two young people who have deep feelings for each other in spite of tradition and custom that have made other plans for them, and despite political circumstances that also change their fate. Pasha and Zari are neighbors whose innocent and seemingly carefree summer suddenly becomes serious and tragic.
"And so every night, Zari and I get together on the roof. I never see her. She sits on her side of the wall, and I on mine. Ten centimeters of brick separate us, but I can almost feel her warmth. I press my palms against the wall and imagine I'm touching the curves of her face."The author, Mahbod Seraji, is working on a second novel and says that he may write a sequel to Rooftops of Tehran, continuing where Pasha and Zari left off. We can only hope he does that! I gave this book four stars.
(Book given by the publisher for my objective review).