Mahru Ghashghaei & Susan Snyder
Self, 2011 (2011)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
wo women – Mahru Ghashghaei of Iran and Jewish-American Susan Snyder sat together in a kitchen, getting to know each other. They both enjoyed talking about their lives, their children, their love of gardening. Susan asked questions about Mahru's life in Iran and the answers became this book –
ahru spoke of her childhood in Iran in a small village north of Tehran - so different than that of an American child. In Iran, a girl child could be married at a very early age, thirteen or fourteen! Marriages were arranged when Mahru was young, that being the culture in which she lived. The political events of the years from the 1960s were very much on Mahru's mind. As she grew up, she had to be very careful not to express her opinions in public. The ruling party was very touchy about criticism. The penalty could be death. Mahru spoke of her first serious love and the startling discovery that changed her life. Many years passed before she could allow herself to feel love again. Her sisters' and mother's lives were miserable at best. Mahru's family was first and foremost to her.
is an intriguing account of the years of Mahru's childhood as well as her revelations about her country and the turmoil it went through. It makes clear the strong cultural differences between the United States and Iran. I found the book interesting, but written as though for a younger audience.
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