Melody




ISBN-13: 9780553383881
Publisher: Bantam Books
Pub. Date: December 2006
320pp


27-year-old Tamila Soroush wishes nothing but a happy and unrestrictive life where she could do what she wants and not be afraid of being accused of being 'unrespectful' or even 'un-religious', for being an Iranian woman she is expected to follow every 'rules and regulations' which has been passed from generations to generations.

Then something changes on her birthday, for her parents has given her a one-way ticket to America, hoping she will find a new life there and never returns. But she has only three months' time before the visa expires, so that means within this time she has to find an Iranian husband with American citizenship before she is back home for good. So there she travels all the way to Tuscon, Arizona where she will stay with her older sister Maryam and her husband, Ardishir who works as an orthopedic surgeon.

Tamila is both curious and fascinated with the American culture, and for the first time she feels so happy, and free. She has also enrolled in an English class, hoping to learn more about the language and gaining some friends along the way. It was during her walk to her class one day that she stops at Starbucks for a drink and get to know Ike, who is working there and his dream is to open his own coffee house one day. He is immediately struck by her attractiveness and her naive ways since she is new to their culture. They became friends quickly, and Tamila is attracted to Ike too, although she is trying hard to suppress her feelings for him. After all, she is here to fulfill her dream of marrying an Iranian husband.

Then she finds a potential husband in Haroun, but he is acting too weird and insists she goes for a medical examination by his physician before he agrees to their marriage. Tamila has second thoughts about him, but Maryam thinks he is one fine young man she shouldn't missed. By this time, Tamila is already good friends with her classmates whom all came from various countries and they sympathize about her situation. Amongst them, Eva, a German military wife is especially helpful to her and offer her all the advice she can get, although Tamila thinks her behaviour is too loud and daring. Through Eva's 'help', she gets to know Masoud and though she asks herself if he is 'the one', but then time is running out fast.

Veil of Roses is a page-turner to me. Laura Fitzgerald has written a fine cross-cultural story filled with humor and emotions. In this story, I learn about Iranian people and their culture, and really sympathize about their situation, especially the women as they are living under a restricted life. It breaks my heart learning about the experience they are going through, and this has further made me think of not to take things, or life as granted. I liked Tamila in this story, and I think she is a very brave woman who is not afraid to pursue her dreams. Even though while she is staying with Maryam, she doesn't rely too much on her and feels she should learn everything in her own way. I loved everything about this story, and I loved the ending too, which had me teary eyed. Now I can't wait for Ms Fitzgerald's next release.

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13 Responses
  1. Kim L Says:

    That sounds like a really great read, I'm putting it on the list. I like books where you learn about a different culture. Thanks for the great review!


  2. Debi Says:

    Wow, Melody, this really does sound good!


  3. Kathy Says:

    Good morning Melody! You gotta slow down on this book-reading thing!! You're burning up the pages, Lady!
    I see ya tagged me again! You are a very busy person!
    Have a great day!


  4. Ladytink_534 Says:

    Seems like a really good one. Not normally something I would read but the premise intrigues me.


  5. Nymeth Says:

    This sounds very powerful and touching. And like Kim, I like books where I get to learn about different cultures.


  6. Melody Says:

    Kim - I really enjoyed reading this! Thought-provoking and emotional. I hope you'll enjoy it too. :)

    Debi - Indeed it is! I hope you'll pick this up as well if you have the chance? ;)

    Kathy - Good morning/evening to you! Your remark had me chuckling. You should know I won't be able to stop reading... the addiction is simply too great! ;P Hope you will enjoy the book I sent.

    Jen - I seldom came across a cross-cultural story that really caught my attention but this one is just excellent!

    Nymeth - Yes, this story really touches my heart. I hope you'll get this book if you've the chance. :)


  7. Jaimie Says:

    I see this book all the time at the store and wonder if it is any good. Now I know to pick it up next time I see it. Thanks for the review!


  8. Iliana Says:

    Another one for my stacks! I've seen this one at the bookstore lots of times but had never really paid attention to it. I enjoyed your review Melody and I think I'd like this book too.


  9. Melody Says:

    Jaimie - Thank you. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do. :)

    Iliana - Great! I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts after you've read it. :)


  10. I think the cultural aspects, her desires versus what is expected of her, intrigue me the most about this book. I will definitely have to add this one to my wish list. Thanks for the great review, Melody.


  11. Melody Says:

    Wendy, I think that's one reason why I'm attracted to this book is because I get to learn about the culture on top of a great story premise. I hope you'll enjoy it too! ;)


  12. Anonymous Says:

    I guess if you do not understand the Iranian culture you would find it an enjoyable read; however, having traveled to Iran, it is clear that the author does not know anything about the Persian culture. Additionally, I'm sure you would feel sorry for Iranian girls the way the book portrays their lives, but it is far from accurate. They are not any different from people in the U.S. And they have laugh lines ;)


  13. Melody Says:

    Anonymous - Thanks for visiting! I suppose reading other countries' cultures is very different from experiencing them first-hand. If I've the chance, I'd want to do so too. :)