Friday, June 28, 2024

The Lion Women of Tehran

Until 1953 Ellie lived with her mother and father in a beautiful home, located in an upscale part of Tehran. Self described as a descendent of royalty, Ellie’s mother was obsessed with their image and status. That all disappeared when Ellie’s father unexpectedly dies. They are left under the watchful eye of his brother who moves them to a small apartment on the wrong side of town. Innocently enough at seven years old, Ellie’s only dream is to meet one girl she can truly call a friend. When school begins she is introduced to Homa, an outspoken classmate who takes her under her wing. The girls become inseparable and Ellie takes great pleasure from Homa’s large bustling family and striking confidence. Later, when their circumstances dramatically change Ellie and Homa are separated and she is returned to the bourgeoisie society of her earlier days. When the friends reunite Ellie is mostly concerned with clothing, hairstyles and “netting” a husband. Homa, an outstanding and earnest student wants to study law and become a judge. As the two navigate the Shah’s regime from contrasting perspectives their friendship is not as simple as it once was. While Ellie has fallen in love and envisions a family, Homa’s involvement in a student communist group on campus endangers them all. This magnificent, beautifully written story of friendship, family and history is both heartbreaking and hopeful. All these years later the brutal struggle for women in pursuit of their rights for freedom in Tehran is ongoing. But they have not given up. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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