Rarely is a first novel as well rounded and flawless as this one. The characters are believable, the plot flows well, the descriptions are excellent, and it's just the right length. It's a seamless, complete story- there's no sense of different storylines being cobbled together.
Set in Iran, 'The Septembers of Shiraz' is the story of one family whose lives are turned upside down after the Shah is overthrown. It conjures up Iran very vividly and gives real meaning to the difficulty of the decision of whether to stay or leave faced by the characters.
I liked the emphasis on the relationships of the family as a whole, which gave it more originality than a straightforward romance or story of marital problems would have had.
There's very little to criticise, as it is an enjoyable read from start to finish, flows well and is written nicely. I suppose it lacked a certain 'wow' factor that would have lead me to give a five star rating - it's a highly competent, rather than brilliant, novel.