Veil of Roses (copy 3)

by Laura Fitzgerald | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780553383881 Global Overview for this book
Registered by LyzzyBee of Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on 3/24/2007
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17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by LyzzyBee from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, March 24, 2007
As part of a discussion on LibraryThing, Laura contacted me to find out how she could get some reviews for and discussion on her novel via BookCrossing. I offered to have a copy, read and review and share it on a BookRing with the BookCrossing community. The book arrived, with a nice card, and thanks for taking it on. When I advertised my bookring and got so many members, she kindly sent me two more!

This book is *wonderful*. We follow the story of Tamila Soroush, whose Iranian family save up and present her with a passport and airliine tickets to go to America and stay with her sister. Life in Iran is circumscribed and the marriage prospect she has to come back to is worrying. In America, she discovers new freedoms, but stays true to her individual and moral self - I was particularly pleased about this aspect. She makes friends among the immigrant community through her language class (these characters were beautifully drawn) and meets all sorts of men, Iranian and otherwise, in her believable but heartbreaking quest to find a man to marry before her visa runs out.

Romantic, touching, funny and obviously told from the heart (Fitzgerald is married to an American-Iranian and dedicates her novel to the women of Iran) this was right up my street, and a very good example of the fish-out-of-water or immigrant-experience genre.

If you like Amy Tan, Funny in Farsi or Pomegranate Soup, or if you have a *heart*, for goodness sakes, you will love this.

Journal Entry 2 by LyzzyBee from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, March 24, 2007
BookRing!

This book is going on its travels! Please go by the basic rules or let me know if you have a delay or difficulty...

1. Journal the book when you receive it.
2. PM the next person and make a note that you've done so.
3. Read and review the book, preferably within 4 weeks of receiving it.
4. Mail the book to the next person. PLEASE put on a JE or release note when you've done this.

SHIPPING ORDER:

Jesmondgirl UK (Europe)
Dotdot Finland (Europe)
Sirah Finland (Europe)
CandyDarling Finland (Europe)
Rapturina Netherlands (anywhere)
Lisa-B Germany (anywhere)
Nyassa UK/France (Europe)
Mallary France (Europe, not France)
LindyLouMac Italy (from EU to Europe)
Sudokugirl Bosnia & Herzegovina (anywhere)
Kihli Greece (Europe)
Bokwormy Portugal (anywhere)
hetku77 Finland (near the end) (anywhere)
Lellie (UK) (near the end) (anywhere)
Purplerosebud UK
Calalilly UK <---- it's here!

Ray over - thanks to all participants - and the book is free to go wherever it wants to now!


RELEASE NOTES:

Posting to Jesmondgirl today.

Journal Entry 4 by jesmondgirl from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Saturday, April 14, 2007
I received this as a bookring from lizzybee and I will start it as soon as I can. It looks very interesting. Thank you both to Lizzybee and to the author for sharing this one.

Journal Entry 5 by jesmondgirl from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Thursday, April 19, 2007
I read this in one sitting and I really enjoyed it. The descriptions of life in Iran for women reminded me very much of the real life accounts I have read of life under the Taliban in afghanistan. The descriptions of Tami's abrupt change in experiences on her arrival in the U.S were both touching and sometimes funny and her quest to find a husband in 12 weeks before her visa ran out was beautifully told.

I shall pm sirah and pass this straight on.

Journal Entry 6 by dotdot from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, June 01, 2007
Veil of Roses arrived today. Thank you, jesmondgirl and LyzzyBee.

Journal Entry 7 by dotdot from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I'm sorry, it's been over 4 weeks already. I'll read the book newt weekend and then it'll move on.

Journal Entry 8 by dotdot from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, July 14, 2007
I finished this finally today. Book was adorable, funny and romantic. Very enjoyable read. Only very strongly underlined difference between Iran and the United States bothered me. USA was too good and Iran was only bad. Unlike Tamila seemed to believe, all women in the United States aren't free and equal to men. There are religious fundamentalism in US, too. It's definite, that fundamentalism and women's rights don't go hand in hand.

Thanks for this book and your patience, LyzzyBee. The book is now in Sirah's hands.

Journal Entry 9 by Sirah from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Got the book from Dotdot a couple of days ago, sorry for not journaling earlier.

Journal Entry 10 by Sirah from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, August 24, 2007
An easy and enjoyable read. Ending-of course-was clear since the beginning, but otherwise the story had it´s points, no matter generalising or not.
I also liked the front cover with the Persian shoes.

I´ll get in touch with CandyDarling and hand the book over to her.

Journal Entry 11 by wingCandyDarlingwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Got this book from Sirah. I'm looking forward to reading it, thank you for starting this ring, LyzzyBee!

Journal Entry 12 by wingCandyDarlingwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, October 04, 2007
I enjoyed reading Veil of Roses because it sparked so many thoughts in me. The book wasn't without its problems (dotdot's review above highlights them well), but overall it was a good, enjoyable read.

What first struck me was that the author was obviously American, because the way she described America sounded very much like someone who was born and raised there. There is usually a difference in the way people describe the country they grew up in, and they the country they moved to as an adult.

What bothered me was the overall tone of "oh those poor oppressed women in Iran". I don't mean to belittle the problems in Iran, but I felt this book oversimplified some complex issues, like the hejab. Usually wearing the veil is seen as a sign of oppression here in the West, but it doesn't explain why some women want to wear it here, even when they are free not to do so. For Western readers removing the veil is probably a strong sign of liberation, but it's not universally seen that way, which is why I was so baffled by the scene in the airplane where the flight attendant nods in approval when Tami removes her hejab. What airline is she flying on? That scene wasn't very realistic...

When Tami meets her sister Maryam, she first notices Maryam's boob job. I found Maryam's comment "It's what women do here, especially if their husbands have some money" (page 17) very interesting. It felt to me like the possibility of having your breasts enlarged was portrayed as yet another way of excercising our freedom here in the West. But are we really liberated because we can have boob jobs? I don't think so. For me, to be truly free, means the ability to be ourselves, and to accept ourselves without feeling a need to change ourselves. To undergo an unnecessary operation, because we aren't happy the way we look, is a form of oppression, I think.

There were several passages in the book that I liked a lot. Ike's and Tami's relationship was wonderful, and I liked Tami's photographic theme, freedom (page 134). Tami's wonder at the different constellations on the other side of the earth (page 20) was another beautiful passage. I also liked the mention of the singer Googoosh.

I agree with everything dotdot said in her review, the demonization of Iran and the constant praise of how good things are in America sounded like a children's fairy tale, and not a realistic portrayal of the two coutries. Tamila dreams of starting a school for girls (page 74), but comes to the conclusion that there isn't need for one in America. She would do well to read the book Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher. Things are not as rosy for girls in America as Tami believes.

I'm glad the author mentioned Atefah Rajabi in this book.

I recently read another book about Iranians is the west, "Call It Whatever You Like" by Marjaneh Bakhtiari. (The book is not yet translated to English.) It's about Iranians in Sweden, and it's very different from Veil of Roses. Bakhtiari doesn't spare anyone in her poignant remarks about our society, and it becomes clear that moving away from the oppression in Iran doesn't guarantee a "happily ever after".

My first ever bookring at bookcrossing was Funny in Farsi : A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas. I recommend that book to everyone interested in Iranians in America. Dumas will release another book, Laughing Without an Accent in May 2008.

Thank you LyzzyBee for starting this ring. I'm really happy I got the chance to read this book!

EDIT: Sent the book to Rapturina on Oct 5, 2007.

Journal Entry 13 by rapturina from Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Sunday, October 21, 2007
It's here! It's been here for a few days, but I didn't get the chance to journal it earlier. I have a few books here that need to be read before I can get to this one, but I'm a quick reader, so I expect it won't take too long. :D Thanks for sending it from one of my favourite places in the world, CandyDarling!

Journal Entry 14 by rapturina from Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I just finished this book and I really liked it. I loved the way it was written - as a typical romance story in which everything seems to be going wrong, but you know it'll all end well and the heroine will get her prince - the one it seemed impossible she'd ever be with. I must admit, I'm a complete sucker for stories like that, and combined with the intercultural storyline (my favourite genre!), it made this book a winner as far as I'm concerned.

Other than that, I can only really repeat what others have said about this book: I liked how Tami remained true to herself despite the influences of others (especially Eva's "corrupting" ways :D), and how her first experiences of the US were described. I didn't really like the way the US and Iran were set as complete opposites; it made me raise my eyebrows too, but that was somewhat soothed by the author mentioning every immigrant's dilemma in passing: you'll never be completely happy 'cause you'll always miss home. So I think overall the author does make it all seem a little bit too perfect to be moving to America and automatically being happy for the rest of your life, but I do think she touches upon more serious topics during the course of the story, which, for me at least, kind of balanced the sugarcoating.

So all in all this book might've been a little one-sided, but I don't really care. I simply loved how it was written with so much warmth and humour, and the book put a smile on my face. :D

If one is really interested in reading about women in Iran in a more serious manner, I would recommend the excellent "Reading Lolita in Tehran" (Azar Nafisi), and I'd like to endorse CandyDarling's recommendation of "Funny in Farsi" - which I've also read recently and thoroughly enjoyed.

I have Lisa-B's address and will be sending the book on to her in a few days.

ETA: Sent Nov. 3rd.

Journal Entry 15 by Lisa-B on Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Received today!

Journal Entry 16 by Lisa-B on Monday, November 12, 2007
Veil of Roses was a light and all in all enjoyable read, however I very much agree with CandyDarling and dotdot about the oversimplifications of the novel. I have been missing some "depth". To add to CandyDarling's recommendations I would also like to mention Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis books.

Journal Entry 17 by LyzzyBee from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Hi everyone - just wanted to share with you some comments the author has made in respect of comments (on my other BookRing copy) about the book being a little too "light" and wanting to know more. I think this nicely complements CandyDarling's list of recommended reads, and also explains the aim and intended audience of the book...

"Let's see -- I recommend Julia read LIPSTICK JIHAD by Azadeh Moaveni and
also THE SOUL OF IRAN: A NATION'S JOURNEY TO FREEDOM by Afshin Molavi.and
SEARCHING FOR HASSAN by Terence Ward.

I think her points regarding the book are solid -- I knew I couldn't write
about Iran a tenth as well as others already have, so I tried to write a
book for people who until recently didn't even know where Iran is on a map,
much less what life is like for the women who live there. It was a
light-touch approach, and I suppose all I can say is I'm pleased she's
wanting to learn more!"



Journal Entry 18 by Lisa-B on Thursday, November 15, 2007
I've got Nyassa's address now and will mail the book to her today or tomorrow.

Thanks, LyzzyBee, for posting the author's comment on her aim and intended audience. The novel never pretends to be more than it is, because the tone is light and often humorous, and that is in my opinion very laudable!

Journal Entry 19 by nyassa from Deal, Kent United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Arrived safely today, many thanks. I have an earlier ray to finish but I would think I'll be able to start within a week or so.

Updated: I really do apologize to everyone for having held this ring up for so long. I realise now I even managed to forget to journal it before posting.

I'm sorry to say I didn't entirely enjoy the book. It gives a very misleading view of life for an Iranian girl. My son's girlfriend is from Iran and they visited family there so I have spoken to her about it. There were other things I didn't care for: I found it very US-centric, as though the US was the only possibility of freedom; I felt the Iranian suitors were rather caricatures, too bad to be true; it is unlikely that the daughter of westernised parents would wear a hijab, more likely a scarf; if she was born in the US she wouldn't have needed that all important green card.

In spite all my nit-picking, it was nevertheless a light and easy read, and at least it made me think.

Again, I'm very sorry to have held things up so much.

Journal Entry 20 by Mallary from Ginestas, Languedoc-Roussillon France on Monday, February 25, 2008
Arrived today in France.
What great timing!
I have just finished a bookring book and was just about to start a library book.
Now I'll read this, thank you nyassa!

Journal Entry 21 by Mallary from Ginestas, Languedoc-Roussillon France on Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Oh my goodness.
I was just sorting out some books to go back to the library when I found this on my bookshelf. I never normally put bookring books on the bookshelf because they get forgotten about.
I am so sorry I have stalled your ring, I will parcel this up and send it to LindyLouMac this week.

Journal Entry 22 by LindyLouMac from Tywyn, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, May 25, 2008
Arrived safely yesterday from France.This one looks as if it is going to be good. Will start as soon as I can but I have a couple of titles ahead of it, but should still get it read within the four weeks. Thanks Lyzzybee for including me and Mallary for sending it on with an extra surprise title.

Journal Entry 23 by LindyLouMac from Tywyn, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tamila Soroush lives in Iran with her parents, approaching the age of 27, time for her to be considering an arranged marriage as is the tradition. In their youth her parents had experienced for awhile the freedom of America, also their eldest daughter lives there, so as a birthday present they present Tamila with a one way ticket to visit her sister. It is a brave gift as the hope of her parents is that she will meet a man and marry him within the three month time period her visa allows. Success will mean freedom and a new life in America, failure a return to Iran to be controlled for ever.

A potentially strong outline for a cross cultural novel that I hoped like others I have read would leave a strong impression. I usually find I learn a lot from such novels and am left with plenty to think about after finishing the story.
Veil of Roses left no impression whatsoever, very disappointing. I did not feel particularly impassioned by the cultural facts that were presented in the novel. Maybe it comes over in this almost emotionless way because the author is not actually Iranian herself, although married to an Iranian –American, so there is no first hand emotion in the writing.

A compassionate love story that I personally felt lacked the emotional depth that I normally expect when reading a cross cultural novel such as this one.


Released 10 yrs ago (6/16/2008 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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En route to Sudokugirl in Bosnia

Journal Entry 25 by sudokugirl from Sarajevo, Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Arrived safely this morning. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 26 by sudokugirl from Sarajevo, Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday, June 28, 2008
The book has some pretty obvious faults, all of which come from the fact that the author is not Iranian herself and all summed up nicely by nyassa and other reviewers. Nevertheless, it's a quick and light read and I rather enjoyed it.

I have kihli's address and will try to send the book their way today.

Released 10 yrs ago (7/4/2008 UTC) at to the next participant in sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Sent to kihli.

Journal Entry 28 by kihli from Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Greece on Wednesday, July 16, 2008
it came to me today

thank you!

Journal Entry 29 by kihli from Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Greece on Friday, August 15, 2008
ok,this was an enjoyable read. It also was hilarious at times :) I liked her tone,I read it in a day...

Sure there are problems,most of which already mentioned. Iran can't be all evil while the US is the Place of all Virtues (unfortunately no place on Earth is...). Yes there are major problems in the USA too-but let's not forget that Iran and the political situation there is a completely different subject. There are so many articles one could read about Iran that could make him shudder,because of the regime.

Nevertheless,it was a nice story,naive at some points,but overall humorous and romantic.

thanks for sharing!
I'm waiting for an address so I can send it soon :)

Journal Entry 30 by kihli at Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Greece on Saturday, September 06, 2008

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going to bokwormy

Journal Entry 31 by BOKWORMY on Friday, September 12, 2008
Just received it in the post!

Journal Entry 32 by BOKWORMY at on Tuesday, September 30, 2008

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On the way to hetku77 in Finland!

Journal Entry 33 by winghetku77wing from Nokia, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Sunday, November 23, 2008
3.10. The book arrived today. Thank you, Bokwormy!

18.11. I finished reading the book over the weekend. The story was very nice, though quite naive at some points and lacked the depth like the previous readers have already mentioned, so I won't go into that anymore. One of Tami's Iranian suitors, Haroun, clearly had OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Unfortunately it is for real (and not dependent on the person's nationality). Haroun also had the intelligence to reason his obsessions - this makes the "normal" person to question his/her own sanity. Not nice, I can tell you. All in all I really enjoyed reading the book. It was romantic, funny and entetaining to read. I also loved the way the story was written and the different characters in it, especially Tami's classmates. In the end the book left a warm feeling, which matters the most in this case.

23.11. The book was mailed to lellie today.

Journal Entry 34 by winglelliewing from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Thursday, November 27, 2008
It's here! I'm almost finished my current book so I should be starting this today or tomorrow. I'll PM purplerosebud right away, I'm a fast reader and should be able to move this on soon.

Thanks everyone, this little book has been on quite a journey.

Journal Entry 35 by winglelliewing from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 03, 2008
This was an okay read, but only that. I thoroughly agree with most of what has gone before and don't think that I can add much to the previous reviews, which are excellent.

The one sidedness of this story bothered me. Nowhere is all good just as nowhere is all bad and women can be just as oppressed in so called free countries, just sometimes in different ways.

The nonesense around the boob jobs and make-up and underwear was a bit shallow and went on for too long.

However if you are not looking for an in-depth cultural comparison, this was quite a nice little book.

Journal Entry 36 by winglelliewing at To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, December 04, 2008

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Off to purplerosebud

Journal Entry 37 by purplerosebud from Petersfield, Hampshire United Kingdom on Sunday, December 14, 2008
Many thanks this book is now safely with me. Not a lot of time for reading at the moment with the busy Christmas season but luckily I see that calalilly and myself are last on the ring so we will get it back to you LyzzyBee before too long.

Journal Entry 38 by LyzzyBee from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Just to let everyone know, I have a copy of the new Laura Fitzgerald here available for bookring - please contact me in the usual way with location and mailing preferences if you'd like to join!

Journal Entry 39 by purplerosebud from Petersfield, Hampshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Well I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! I knew nothing about Iran before so it did give me some insight but I just read it as a lovely, light, romantic, amusing story. I could have read it one sitting, in fact it took just a couple of days, so caught up was I in the story. I could just imagine it being made into a movie where I could curl up in a chair and get lost in it for a couple of hours. I'm already on the ring for Laura Fitzgerald's next book and looking forward to reading it. I think I'm near the top of the list. :-)

Thanks for sharing LyzzyBee, another author you and BC have introduced me to. Will be passing it on to calalilly very soon.

Journal Entry 40 by calalilly from Waterlooville, Hampshire United Kingdom on Saturday, March 14, 2009
Passed onto me from Purplerosebud when we managed to meet up for coffee in a garden centre. A pleasant way to pass on books and catch up with what's been going on since we last met up. I've got a couple of books to read ahead of this but I see that I am last on the list for it.

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