In 1953 Tehran Roya a 17 year old girl meets her first love Bahman at the Stationery Shop owned by Mr. Fakhri. They soon become inseparable and fall in love. They plan to get married now that they have graduated high school. But there are turbulent times going on in IRAN. The Prime Minister is in the throws of a revolt by the Shaw. Bahman’s mother does not approve of Roya and makes it known. Still they plan to marry.
Then one day Bahman and his family disappear. Mr. Fakhri tells Roya it’s for their safety having to do with the revolution. He will get letters to Bahman and to her but times are tough. Then Bahman says he’s coming back to meet Roya and they will get married right away and where to meet. Roya is there but no Bahman and things are getting bad and out of control with the revolution. For weeks Roya waits and then word gets to her that Bahman will not be returning and is to be married to the woman his mother arraigned for him.
Roya is crushed and her parents soon make plans for her and her sister to go to America to college. They get accepted to school in California and start for their new lives. They quickly adjust and meet men and end up both getting married. Roya moves to Boston and starts her new life. But she has still never gotten over Bahman (who writes letters to her that we see but never were sent). We see a letter that he got from Roya saying she could never have married him because of his mother.
Now 60 years later in a suburb of Boston Roya sees a place called The Stationery Shop. She can’t believe her eyes. She goes in and learns it’s run by Bahman’s son and he is at a nursing home in the area. She goes to see him and they talk about what happened all those years ago and learn that things were not what they seemed and they were deceived all those years ago.
This is where you will need the Kleenex people. This is a heart-warming love story of two people in the throws of political upheaval (and a great job by author Marjan to describe the situation of that time) and personal deceit by people close to them who ended up keeping them apart. The characters are great and you root for them and the story is top notch. You get invested right from the first page to the very end. A truly remarkable story and is a perfect summer read.
You can pick it up in stores on Tuesday, June 18 from Gallery.