Monday, August 17, 2015
By: Dorit Rabinyan
<3 <3 <3 <3
Summary:Persian Brides is a novel of rare beauty and extraordinary accomplishment. Set at the turn of the century in the fictional Persian village of Omerijan, it tells the magical story of two young girls--Flora and Nazie Ratoryan--and their many neighbors in the almond tree alley in Omerijan where they live. Fifteen-years-old, pregnant, and recently abandoned by her cloth-merchant husband, Flora longs desperately for the return of her unborn baby's father. Nazie consoles and pities her, and though she is still a child of eleven, she yearns--just as desperately--for her own future marriage. Although the narrative spans only two days, it branches out and back, encompassing the lives and histories of many of Omerijan's inhabitants. Rabinyan's vivid depiction of the village is a sensual feast, recreating the odors and flavors, the colors, sounds, and textures of everyday life. A masterful blend of fantasy and reality, the narrative forcefully conveys the shocking cruelties endured by many of the characters while at the same time weaving a modern-day Arabic legend where snakes offer jewels in exchange for milk and death is thwarted by appeasing the village demons. Written with passion and elegance, Persian Brides brings a rich array of characters to life--telling of their hardships without ever losing the magic and wonder that is so much a part of their lives.
Persian Brides was a book unlike any other I've ever read. It tells the story of the Persian village of Omerijian; and details the story of the young women specifically the young Jewish women who live in it as they are born, go through childhood; get married and have their own children. The style of writing was very descriptive and open; it could almost be called provocative in some ways. There were no details left to the imagination; all of the girls sexual experiences growing up and all of the customs that the women and men in the village observed were very specifically detailed in the book; so if that type of thing bothers you as a reader then I would be careful with this book also I would not recommend anyone under the age of fourteen reading it.
It took awhile for me to get into the writer's tempo with how things were described but once I did I ended up loving this book and finishing it very quickly. I learned a lot I didn't know about customs in a different part of the world, marriage rituals, spiritual beliefs, and I loved the style of writing. The characters in the book were very easy to relate to and the chapters ended in a way that made you want to keep reading. The book centered mainly around the lives of two girls named Flora and Nazie, and their families lives in Omerijan; their entry into married life at the ages of between eleven and fourteen. And their loyalty to each other. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of magic woven into the books they read and who wants a book that is hard to put down; but don't read it if you can't handle parts that are very truthful about the realities of life for women in this time and part of the world.