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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
From Iran to America: Mahnaz and Shirin - A Love Story by Reza Mashayekhi is a simple love story set against the backdrop of growing up in the Middle East and then moving to the United States. Apart from the love angle, the author speaks about the importance of tolerance and the difficulties of adjusting in a foreign land. Some of the incidents are true and the author's personal experiences, while the others are all formed on the basis of his observations. The book starts from the 1950s in Iran and then continues up to the present day in the United States. The story also speaks about the difficulties faced by foreigners who live away from their native countries. It is a story of love and personal observation. The experiences based on everyday living and Iranian society make the story authentic and can be related to very well.
The book is a compelling read. The author has done a great job in bringing the two cultures together and combining them effortlessly. The story has love, loss, humor, sadness, innocence, and many other emotions which make it profound and realistic. The story speaks about the life of a person who is struggling to keep up his identity and culture in a foreign land; at the same time he is trying to adjust to the new place. The character of Mahnaz is portrayed in a manner that she remains in your mind for a long, long time. Though it is a love story, the underlying theme speaks about tolerance of another religion and culture. The author has expressed the stories beautifully so that all the characters come alive in front of you while reading the book.