Things I've been Silent About by Azar Nafisi...a review


I'm reticent to say that I didn't like this book. My concern obviously is that it is hard enough encouraging people to read great books. A negative response makes it that much harder for a book to find an audience that will appreciate it. And so I will, in order to make myself feel better, provide a little background and say that I absolutely fell in love with this author when I read Reading Lolita in Tehran. This book actually held its position as my number one favorite read for over a year. Nafisi is such a meticulously detailed writer. The irony is that I wholeheartedly enjoyed this aspect while immersed in Reading Lolita in Tehran, but found myself dreading, so sad, reading Things I've been Silent About for the very same characteristic.

I felt bogged down a good majority of the time while reading Things I've Been Silent About. Over and over again Nafisi mentioned names, events, and political parties in reference to how it affected her own families' situation. And perhaps because I am not completely confident in the histories of other countries, nor do I have any "personal ties", I have to admit that I ultimately ended up skimming sentences that appeared to list out this type of information. 

It was a struggle to just "get" through the first half of this book. There was absolutely no buy in, nothing pulling me back to read. The conflict, as it was presented, was not magnetic. I sat down so many times to read this book but time and again became distracted. The second half of the novel is definitely more compelling than the first, but it would have taken way more to win me over by the time I reached that portion.

So no, I wouldn't make this a recommended read. I would however, suggest Reading Lolita in Tehran. This book manages to incorporate the struggles of the country- specifically as it forged for and against woman's rights. This historical background meshes seamlessly with the author's perspective for an extremely well written novel. 

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