House of the Mosque, TheAbdolah, Kader
Having lived in the house attached to the mosque for eight centuries, Aqa Jaan and his kin epitomise a devout Muslim family. However, change is in the air: the Iranian revolution is underway and the effect on the extended family is tumultuous. With its heady mix of revolution and relationships, politics and power, this story brings to life a slice of Iranian history imbued with the author's own experiences. A captivating snapshot of the last days of the Shah and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
Comments from GroupsEveryone in our group really enjoyed this book. Had a great discussion - talked so much about different cultures, religions, beliefs. Nelson 056 We all loved this book. A wonderful insight into Mosque family life and its sad transition into modernity and revolution. Christchurch 257 We all thought this book was very good. Great writing, evocative and a great way to get a bit of history. Wanaka 012 Everyone thought it was a very worthwhile read. Great discussion and a wide range of issues covered. Auckland 039 Really liked this book. It was a simple story told like a fable but incorporated real historical characters and events. Te Awamutu 003 A noteworthy book; it left a strong impression of Iranian culture on us all. Not all found it a comfortable read for style and content however. The Arabic storytelling style takes some getting used to. The way it trivialises some trauma, expands on some trivia, glosses over outrage...makes it harder to empathise with characters. Not all our group were comfortable reading of inequal and degrading treatment of females. Definitely a thought provoker veiled in a grim fairytale, with an insight into the revolution that overturned the Shah. Whitby 003 Everyone really enjoyed this book - the skill of the author in giving us a picture of the family of the mosque brought it all to life. Many of the group were surprised at how much they enjoyed it, despite initial misgivings. The family tree at the beginning of the book was very helpful at identifying the various family members and their roles. A very skilful blend of the personal and the political - we felt we gained many insights into that particular time in Iran's history, and the portrayal of the conflict between the Western influences of the Shah, and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism....Matamata 001 Some people found it depressing, while others enjoyed reading about the history and culture. People really enjoyed the "grandmothers" who went off to Mecca and didn't return. Warkworth 006 The chance to read it was appreciated by all members - we learnt a lot. A moving account of how American influence and changes in Iran's political power left people completely disempowered, confused and disillusioned by the way age-old values suddenly no longer counted. Taupo 005 We found this a very good and sympathetic (although sometimes horrific) book about the unsteady transition from the time of the Shah in Iran, to the Sharia law state. Lots of characters, beautifully drawn. Dunedin 058 A couple of people really enjoyed it. The majority persevered and enjoyed it more at the end. Some thought it lacked the depth of description to 'see' and 'smell' the bazaar etc, and that it lacked a writer's 'voice'. Having said that. the discussion was robust and very interesting. Auckland 343 Very enjoyable read. Serious issues and historical fact written in a readable way, Timaru 016