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In the Time of Our History

by Susanne Pari

In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari X
In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari
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There are currently 33 member reviews
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  • Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)
    Cultural Clashes
    Wonderful and thoughtful book about cultural clashes and relationships of parents and children. Highly recommend.
  • Betty T. (Warner Robins, GA)
    Well-written Family Saga
    Beautifully written and thought-provoking.

    I always find myself drawn to stories from the Middle East. Having had friends displaced during the Iranian Revolution, I found this story especially interesting. This story centers on the Iranian-born Jahani family and their extended family who fled Iran for America after the fall of the Shah in 1979. The setting for the Jahani family is San Francisco and New Jersey in the late 1990s.

    It took a while for me to really get into this story, but once I reached that point, I became totally immersed in this family saga with its generational culture clashes and their conflict that centered on long-held secrets.

    Through her masterful writing, Pari brought these characters to life. The father was stiff and domineering; Shireen, the mother, caught between her love for her children and the demands of her husband; sweet Ana who did what was expected by her father; and the rebellious Mitra ("a girl who wanted to be as free as a boy in choosing her future"). The emotions flowed from the pages into my heart, especially the shame, the pain, the frustrations, and the anger.

    I liked how the family worked to find a blend between their new American home and their rich Persian culture, something all immigrant families encounter. This entire story is, in fact, based on the Iranian custom of "The One Year" which is the observance of the one-year anniversary of a death.
  • Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)
    Cultural Pitfalls
    This was an excellent book depicting the trials and tribulations of an Irani family that immigrated to the United states, California and New Jersey, in the late 1990s. The cultural differences that occur in one family when the parents are from one country with strict traditions, and the children are born, or mostly raised, in this country, where those traditions are not appreciated or understood, present many possible areas of conflict and misunderstanding and stubbornness that lead to so much unnecessary family turmoil and heartbreak. Susanne Pari's novel describes these conflicts in a smooth flowing story delving deep into the minds of each of the characters, Mother, Father, Daughters, nephews, nannies from the old country. This is a beautifully told story and one I highly recommend.
  • Patricia S. (Lake Wylie, SC)
    In the Time of Our History
    Susanne Pari successfully captures the dynamics of relationships in an immigrant family facing generational cultural clashes, traumatic experiences, long-held secrets, and differing personalities. The characters are well-crafted and relatable, although not always likable - but that is to be expected in a realistic portrayal of family interactions. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will definitely recommend it to others when it is released.
  • Mary L. (Greeley, CO)
    Amazing and complex characters
    I am eager for this novel to be available so I can tell all the readers I know not to miss reading it. The depth of the characters made me want them to walk off the page so we could sit down, share tea and have deep conversations. Susanne Pari's novel opens both new and, at the same time, recognizable cultural and emotional worlds in this story of first and second generations as they navigate family, tradition, political upheaval, self-awareness and tragedy.
  • Diane J. (Grove City, PA)
    Set in a Specific Time - Yet Timeless Family Story
    Susanne Pari crafted a beautiful immigrant family story that drew me in and kept me captivated. I felt I was witnessing an unraveling of an artful web of multiple viewpoints and history. The story effortlessly describes each character's contribution or thread in that web. I felt emotionally invested in each angle of the various dynamics and family relationships, such as the push and pull of the bond between sisters, the strong love between mother and daughter, and the love-hate struggle of a patriarchal father-daughter duo. I also felt that the pacing of the story was on target, giving just enough time and detail to easily gain perspective and enough momentum to keep the reader compelled and engaged.
  • Rebecca H. (Bolton, CT)
    In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari
    A beautifully written, character-driven gem of a novel, this is one of those stories that makes you sad when you reach the last page because you just aren't ready to let the characters go yet.
    The displacement and the sense of not belonging anywhere common to immigrants are explored here, but the main focus is on the multi-generational family relationships within a large Iranian immigrant family. Cultural clashes and misunderstandings among immigrant parents and children raised in America, cousins, aunts, and uncles make up the meat of this novel. The oppression of women and of minorities in two countries, Iran and the United States of America, is also explored throughout the narrative. The relationships, particularly among the female characters, are depicted with tenderness and unflinching honesty. The action shifts in time from the 1970's to the present, now focusing on one set of characters and relationships, and then another. The characters are fully-fleshed and real, and the repercussions of certain decisions and attitudes sound down the generations.
    I highly recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction and multicultural literature.

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