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The Girl From the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan, published August 18, 2015 by Ecco.
Genre: literary fiction, historical fiction
Book beginning, Chapter One:
In the outskirts of Los Angeles, in the sprawl of suburban homes that sit in the lap of dry, gold hills, there is a garden. In the warmth of last summer evenings, the perfumes of honeysuckles and jasmines in this garden are maddening. Earthen pots of cosmos and geraniums surround the yard. Near the back wall grows a pomegranate tree. A fig tree fruits in the late summer, the grape arbor hides her clusters in among the leaves, the boughs of the apple tree nearly touch the soil in autumn, and the orange tree, soaking beneath the Southern California sun, provides year-round. Mint vines creep to cover the grounds, and nasturtiums explode in blossom. This garden belongs to an elderly woman. Her name is Mahboubeh Malacouti. Her first name means "the most beloved." Her last name means "of the heavenly."Book description:
"A debut novel in which a crisis of inheritance leads to the downfall of a wealthy family of Persian Jews in early twentieth-century Iran.
Asher Malacouti—the head of a prosperous Jewish family in the Iranian town of Kermanshah—cannot have the one thing he desires above all: a son. His young wife, Rakhel, is made desperate by her failure to conceive, and grows jealous and vindictive....
Asher makes a fateful choice that will drive Rakhel to dark extremes to preserve her status within the family.
Witnessed through the memories of the family's sole surviving daughter, Mahboubeh, now an elderly woman living in Los Angeles, The Girl from the Garden unfolds the tragic history of the Malacouti family in a long-lost Iran of generations past. Inspired by the author's own family, it is an exploration of sacrifice, betrayal, and the legacy of the families that forge us." (goodreads)
Mahboubeh had no one to run to, no one to protect her from Rakhel's anger and spite.I find it intriguing that the story is based on the author's memories of her own family and am looking forward to reading this.