Thursday, December 18, 2014

Audiobook Review: "If You Could Be Mine" by Sara Farizan

Sahar and Nasrin have been best friends since they were young girls.  It has always been more than friendship though, and now that they are teenagers they recognize that they truly love each other.  They must keep their relationship secret though, because homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Iran.  In fact, they could be hanged in the square if the authorities found out about them.  But when Nasrin's parents have agreed to marry her to a doctor, Sahar becomes desperate to find a way they can stay together.

What a beautiful love story!  You can really understand Sahar's feelings and emotions through these words and images, as this is told mostly from her point of view.  I was wondering if I was only understanding Nasir from Sahar's point of view, and maybe misunderstanding their relationship but Nasir becomes more clear the deeper you get.  The secondary characters add a lot of variety and additional tension - as if the Iranian government weren't enough.  Sahar's cousin Ali provides a look at the underground gay culture in Tehran; Sahar's father is still grieving the loss of her mother and shows how deep the loss of true love can hurt; Nasir's parents show the struggles of a marriage not in love; and the transsexual support group shows a government-sanctioned option (and it is shown that gay =/= transsexual, though the government doesn't recognize that important difference).

While I thought that Sahar's "plan" to keep Nasrin was doomed from the start, it was painful to understand just how desperate she was and how determined she was to make this work.  It is all just so heartbreaking....  highly recommend this one.

*****
If You Could Be Mine
by Sara Farizan
Narrator:  Negin Farsad
Algonquin; Highbridge Audio 2013
247 pages; 5 hours 15 minutes
Source: Library
*****

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3 comments:

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I was so happy to see this kind of story being published. I never actually bought into the love part of this story because I never could see what Sahar saw in Nasrin, so it was a better book in theory than in practice, but I hope that this book lays the groundwork for more books that explore similar themes.

looloolooweez said...

I've heard so many good things about this book. It has been on my TBR list forever. How was the audio version? I hope the narrator was good?

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

I thought the narrator gave a very good performance. Good strong voice that conveyed emotion and personality for the characters...

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