This has got to be one of my favorite books of all time. It's touching and well-written, and that's because author Afschineh Latifi is genuine.
Personal memoirs always make for good books because they allow you to see inside someone else's world and live their experiences, even the saddest ones they can remember. This memoir is a powerful tale of an Iranian family's struggles after their father was mercilessly executed by Khomeini's soldiers, leaving the author's young mother (then only 34) in charge of four young children in a society where women were second-class citizens.
The book follows the author's escape from Iran to Austria, where she and her older sister, still barely teens, were sent by their mother to live free from the tyranny individuals, especially women, suffered under Iran's new reign. Meanwhile, back at home, their mother continued to plot for her own escape with her other two children, the author's brothers.
Eventually, the family reunite in America years after they last saw each other, but not after much heartache having been forced to live their young lives apart. The author details her naivete, her fears, and her dreams through the struggles, and of course, shares stories of the good times, too.
Afschineh Latifi's story makes you realize the power of hope and love -- how much it fuels everything you do and even helps define you. If you appreciate a beautiful, heartfelt story, this book is for you.