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Betrayal, forgiveness, identity and obsession churn against the tumultuous landscape of the Islamic revolution and seemingly perfect gardens of Southern California.
The narrative is rather comprehensive, including a surprise twist of sorts towards the end. The mixture of historical events occurring in Iran with the crisis and upheaval Soraya faces gives merit to her irrational and radical thinking as well as actions. Culture, religion, decorum and traditions are explored aiding in understanding Soraya and all involved in the uproar. Betrayal, oppression, secrets, lies, revenge, profound love, deceit all create a plot leaving the reader guessing at where it will lead. You could describe the plot as somewhat chaotic, however, Mossanen manages to maintain command.
Soraya is relatively complex with a demeanor of heavy brusqueness. With her prickly nature, her emotions uncontrollable, I never found myself warming up to her or really feeling her pain. She’s a great example of karma exacting its punishment. She is predatory, revengeful, vindictive but really she’s on a path of self-destruction, clearly out of control, wholly emotionally driven which is utterly dangerous. Her anger manifests with the Revolution in her country, the scorn women faced following the Revolution and Aziz’s betrayal was the last straw, especially since it involved a familiar person in Soraya’s life. Really when you break it down, Soraya was dealt a quad betrayal.
I felt Mossanen left a few loose ends with the narrative and with character development, the characters ‘reacted’ but failed to ‘communicate,’ even when confronted there was no real communication. It left me questioning if it was cultural or did these characters choose not to verbalize. Perceived as almost unfinished or leaving the peruser to assume.
An examination into a woman experiencing the ravages of betrayal, oppression while allowing her frustration and hurt lead her on a emotionally driven course. A delve into cultural differences and attitudes towards women and infidelity. Interesting, educational, not to mention an intriguing read with a potentially lethal emotionally unstable protagonist – “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”
About Dora Levy Mossanen
Dora Levy Mossanen was born in Israel and moved to Iran when she was nine. At the onset of the Islamic revolution, she and her family moved to the United States. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of California-Los Angeles and a master’s in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.
Dora is the bestselling author of the acclaimed novels Harem, Courtesan, and The Last Romanov. Her fourth and most provocative book, Scent of Butterflies, was released January 7, 2014. She is a frequent contributor to numerous media outlets including the Huffington Post and the Jewish Journal. She has been featured on KCRW, The Politics of Culture, Voice of Russia, Radio Iran and numerous other radio and television programs. She is the recipient of the prestigious San Diego Editors’ choice award and was accepted as contributor to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Dora Levy Mossanen’s novels have been translated into numerous languages world-wide.
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Excited to be participating in the tour for Dora Levy Mossanen’s Scent of Butterflies, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 5 March. Thank you TLC