Review: The Girl from the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan

I found The Girl from the Garden to be an at times engrossing at other times frustrating novel. The glimpse into the lives of a Jewish family in Iran in the early parts of the 20th century is captivating: fear, obsession, jealousy, loyalty, faith and violence all mix together in the cloistered environment of the family enclave. It is a glimpse into a seemingly lost world full of mystery and joy, tragedy and love, faith and superstition.

But the jumping back and forth in time and the complex way this is narrated undermines much of the story. Whenever the story comes back to the present it slows down and loses its punch. The flashbacks carry all the power.

An interesting and promising debut novel but one I am of mixed feelings about.

My Goodreads rating: 3 of 5 stars (View all my Goodread reviews)

Review: The Girl from the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan

I found The Girl from the Garden to be an at times engrossing at other times frustrating novel. The glimpse into the lives of a Jewish family in Iran in the early parts of the 20th century is captivating: fear, obsession, jealousy, loyalty, faith and violence all mix together in the cloistered environment of the family enclave. It is a glimpse into a seemingly lost world full of mystery and joy, tragedy and love, faith and superstition.

But the jumping back and forth in time and the complex way this is narrated undermines much of the story. Whenever the story comes back to the present it slows down and loses its punch. The flashbacks carry all the power.

An interesting and promising debut novel but one I am of mixed feelings about.

My Goodreads rating: 3 of 5 stars (View all my Goodread reviews)

Michael Totten on the Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel

On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Pejman Yousefzadeh and I are joined by Michael Totten, to discuss his book The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel.

We discussed the Iranian, Syrian, and Hezbollah efforts to control Lebanon, and Totten’s own personal encounters with Hezbollah, as well as the importance of the region and the unique dynamics that are in play on the ground.

Listen Here.