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Publisher's Summary

Set against the backdrop of Iran's rich, turbulent history, this exquisite debut novel is a powerful story of food, family, and a bittersweet homecoming.
When we first meet Noor, she is living in San Francisco, missing her beloved father, Zod, in Iran. Now, dragging her stubborn teenage daughter, Lily, with her, she returns to Tehran and to Cafe Leila, the restaurant her family has been running for three generations. Iran may have changed, but Cafe Leila, still run by Zod, has stayed blessedly the same - it is a refuge of laughter and solace for its makeshift family of staff and regulars.
As Noor revisits her Persian childhood, she must rethink who she is - a mother, a daughter, a woman estranged from her marriage and from her life in California. And together, she and Lily get swept up in the beauty and brutality of Tehran.
©2017 Donia Bijan (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Nilou on 11-09-17

The narrator is incredibly annoying

The narrator is not a native English speaker. She has a hard time pronouncing English words, is just terrible in pronouncing Persian, Spanish, French and Russian too. I understand that you don’t need to be fluent in all to be able to deliver well but they could’ve at least chosen someone who was familiar with Persian.
She attempts at different voices and accents but they all come out as an exhausted, old man. Everyone speaks with what is her attempt at a Russian accent. It’s just terrible. It’s so annoying to listen to. I’m not sure who chose this narrator but they failed miserably.
Such a shame since the story is great and Donia Bijan is an amazing writer.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Ellen H. G. Culpepper on 10-23-17

Deeply Satisfying

Well developed characters weave a rich story. Sensuous food and flowers evoke taste and smell with a mastery rare in fiction. The characters' relationships and decisions stir me to continuing reflection on how I myself want to choose to live. A lavish story.

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