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The Gardens of Consolation

Parisa Reza | Translated by Adriana Hunter | Europa Editions | December 6, 2016

In the early 1920s, in the remote village of Ghamsar, Talla and Sardar, two teenagers dreaming of a better life, fall in love and marry. Sardar brings his young bride with him across the mountains to the suburbs of Tehran, where the couple settles down and builds a home. From the outskirts of the capital city, they will watch as the Qajar dynasty falls and Reza Khan rises to power as Reza Shah Pahlavi.

Into this family of illiterate shepherds is born Bahram, a boy whose brilliance and intellectual promise are apparent from a very young age. Through his education, Bahram will become a fervent follower of reformer Mohammad Mosaddegh and will participate first-hand in his country's political and social upheavals.

Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Iran, Parisa Reza has written a powerful love story filled with scenes of hope and heartbreak.

Publisher's website


"This engaging novel is a must-read for anyone interested in trying to understand the true nature of Iran, a country often demonized in the West but that Reza reveals as a place of universal human experiences." —Booklist

"Talla is a formidable, hard-to-forget heroine." —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"...this compelling book raises important questions..." —Kirkus Reviews