In the time of our history.

by Pari, Susanne,

Format: Print Book 2023
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Inspired by her own family's experiences following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Susanne Pari explores the entangled lives within an Iranian American family grappling with generational culture clashes, the roles imposed on women, and a tragic accident that forces them to reconcile their guilt or forfeit their already tenuous bonds. Set between San Francisco and New Jersey in the late-1990's, In the Time of Our History is a story about the universal longing to create a home in this world - and what happens when we let go of how we've always been told it should look.

Twelve months after her younger sister Anahita's death, Mitra Jahani reluctantly returns to her parents' home in suburban New Jersey to observe the Iranian custom of "The One Year." Ana is always in Mitra's heart, though they chose very different paths. While Ana, sweet and dutiful, bowed to their domineering father's demands and married, Mitra rebelled, and was banished.

Caught in the middle is their mother, Shireen, torn between her fierce love for her surviving daughter and her loyalty to her husband. Yet his callousness even amid shattering loss has compelled her to rethink her own decades of submission. And when Mitra is suddenly forced to confront hard truths about her sister's life, and the secrets each of them hid to protect others, mother and daughter reach a new understanding--and forge an unexpected path forward.

Alive with the tensions, sacrifices, and joys that thrum within the heart of every family, In the Time of Our History is also laced with the richness of ancient and modern Persian culture and politics, in a tale that is both timeless and profoundly relevant.

"Luminous." - Publishers Weekly

"A sprawling story of loss and healing in the immigrant experiences of an Iranian American family... This vibrant story is told in intricate, heartfelt detail." - Foreword Reviews

"[An] immersive tale of a first-generation immigrant determined to blaze her own path." - Booklist
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Mitra Jahani pushes back against the expectations of her Iranian parents, while her sister Anahita is a sweet, gentle people pleaser. Mitra's rebellious ways anger her traditional father, and she flees to San Francisco. When Anahita dies in an accident, it further strains the family's relationships. Mitra's return to New Jersey for the one-year anniversary of Anahita's death brings back troubling memories, including a long-buried secret. Frustrated by her father's callous disregard for the women in his family, Mitra opens up to her mother, Shireen, giving Shireen the courage to change her life. Pari's debut is a 1990s-set family saga about the tension between tradition and assimilation, featuring strong female characters whose deep ties to their homeland and culture are at odds with their desire for independence from patriarchal expectations. Although the story centers on Mitra, Pari includes a variety of narrators from the Jahani family, turning the story into a chorus of voices that blend together into a harmonious whole. Readers who enjoy Thrity Umrigar will be drawn into this immersive tale of a first-generation immigrant determined to blaze her own path."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this luminous multigenerational tale, Pari (The Fortune Catcher) examines the complicated ties among an Iranian American family. After Mitra Jahani's immigrant father refuses to let her younger sister Ana be the first one to get married, Mitra pretends to get engaged, then cancels at the last minute. She also has her tubes tied. As a result, her father disowns her and she moves from New Jersey to California, breaking their mother Shireen's heart. Years later, Ana and her young children are killed in a car accident, and family secrets tumble out one after another, including Ana's childhood molestation by an older cousin and Ana's extramarital affair with an artist. Shireen, caught in the middle between her husband and daughter, finally takes a stand against her husband's cruelty, perhaps changing her own destiny. Well-drawn supporting characters, including Sali, an Iraqi teenager who gets pregnant after being raped and is disowned by her mother; and Julian, Mitra's supportive physician boyfriend, add depth. This expertly paced story easily navigates the cultural differences between newer Americans and older immigrants and provides a frank look at fraught family dynamics. For fans of sweeping family sagas, this is like catnip. (Jan.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects ordreq 11/21/2022 xa
Publisher Kensington Publishing Corporation,2023
Description p. cm.
ISBN 9781496739261
Other Classic View