The Stationery Shop
by Kamali Marjan
Paperback- $14.40


From the award-winning author of Together Tea—a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and ...

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  "" by drbeth (see profile) 09/11/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/12/21

  "The Stationery Shop" by bkmnmpl (see profile) 06/24/21

This book whisks the reader away to Tehran in 1953 - a year of change for both Iran and the young lovers, Roya & Bahman. I highly recommend this title to readers who love to learn about life in other places during other times. Also, readers who love to see stories that move, waver, and develop over time will love the backstories that fill in the blanks.

  "" by JillianPhoenix (see profile) 07/27/21

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/22/23

  "" by Marcia131 (see profile) 06/20/23

  "A romantic book that also includest the political history of Iran." by thewanderingjew (see profile) 11/30/23

The Stationery Shop, Marjan Kamali, author; Mozhan Marno, narrator
There are always unintended consequences, so the moral of this novel might be, be careful what you wish for. In a simple explanation, this book begins with the history of Iran, and the rebellion in the early 1950’s when people began to rise up against the rule of the Shah, who seemed to be enriching himself at their expense. They demanded more freedom, more opportunity and more equality. They wanted a new leader; they wanted a new government. Some wanted the Shah to resign to be replaced by the Prime Minister who had been duly elected, and who had promised more freedom and opportunity. There were also hints of some who wanted the exiled religious leader to return so they could establish a Theocracy, ruled by the tenets of Islam. The corruption of the ruling class had instigated protests and calls for change rang out.
It was at this time that Roya met Bahman in a Stationery/Book shop. Both of them were on the same side of the political divide. They were immediately attracted to each other, but were very shy, at first. Unbeknownst to the two of them, there was a very deep connection between the owner of the shop and Bahman’s mother, from her past life as a fruit seller in the market in Teheran. That connection would alter the trajectory of their lives.
As the relationship deepened, they made plans for their marriage, although still in their teens. It was customary, however, at that time, for marriages to be arranged so that suitable matches would take place that would advance the family standing. His parents had already arranged such a match for Bahman, and his mother vehemently objected to their relationship. She was also emotionally troubled and unable to cope well with being denied her wishes. During this time of chaos and protest, the government began to strike back against the protesters. The only person who knew of the devious plans to sabotage their wedding plans was murdered.
For the next several decades, Roya’s life is explored as she attempts to become a scientist to satisfy her father’s desires and attempts to recover from the loss of her one true love. She moves to America for her education and does eventually remain there, marrying a decent and good man. The reader watches the history of Iran play out alongside her history until she is deep into her 70’s in 2013.
The history of Iran’s degeneration into a country run by strict Islamic principles is revealed alongside the revelation of secrets, rebellion, forbidden romance, elitism and the class divide, the lack of women’s rights, and the history of a once thriving country. As the doomed love stories are revealed, the dreams of a more democratic and free country are dashed.
The history of Iran, from the early 1950’s, under the Shah’s rule, until the establishment of an Islamic government in the 1970’s, is explored in an almost outline form, without many details. However, a Theocracy is established that completely destroyed the original hope for more freedom. Instead, the country was ruled by religious principles that dictated the system of education, the environment, the laws, the dress, the treatment of women, the supremacy of men, and any other part of life religion could touch. The future was now marked by the opposite of a Democracy. So much for the hopes and dreams of the young. In a period of three decades, life changed dramatically.
As this novel covers the life of the two young teen lovers and the way the culture of the times impacted their lives, even until the early 2000’s from Iran to America, the reader watches, as slowly, many hopes and dreams were destroyed because of secrets, manipulation and deceitful behavior. Some of those who wanted a better life were able to adjust, either by adapting to the situation or by moving elsewhere. Patience and compromise, thoughtfulness and sincerity were paramount for succeeding in the world. The inability to deal with the reality on the ground, because of conflicting goals, led to disastrous consequences that affected all avenues of life.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/20/23

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