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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2006
Amazingly insightful book into a life few could imagine. Educational about Persia & Iran's rich but turbulent history since the late 19th century.
Moving & inspirational, this book shows one persons immense courage & determination to contribute to her country's social growth. Sattareh has led an amazing life from being born into a Prince's harem, her struggle to become an educated woman, traveling & living during times of turbulent change, with her life more often than not being in terrifyingly grave danger.
Movies have been made depicting lives less dramatic than hers! Reiterating what a previous reviewer felt- "This book stays with you long after the final page."
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2001
When I was 13 I picked up a book of my mother's, and began to read. It was perhaps the best book I have read - the almost unbelievable story of Ms. Farman's life in Iran, and her battle against tradional expectations to introduce her country to social work. Immense detail, from rich description of the country and its people, to life in a Prince's harem (where she lived with her mother, one of his wives) gives great depth to the book. Her struggle to break with tradition and her terrifying experiences during the time when Iran was gripped by revolution are inspirational, and thoroughly moving. Ms. Farman's autobiography is certainly a book to stay with you long after you read the final page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2009
I read the book some years ago. I am full of admiration for Sattareh. For her courage and tenacity. It's the story of a brave Iranian woman finding her way through harsh and strict rules of the time. After overcoming many obstacles when she has finally succeeded, against all odds, she comes face to face with the ultimate nightmare. Included are some memorable moments in the history of 20th Century Iran. There is a bitter sweet flavour to it that affects you for a long time. Praise be to her for sharing it with us.
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on 30 September 2012
I like to read my history through the lens and experience of people of the that time and place, and this book is a fantastic introduction to modern Iran. The Islamic Revolution and all that come with it, gives the book a sense of foreboding as well as helping to understand why the revolution happened. Sattareh writes about her remarkable efforts to introduce social work in Iran with affection, frustration and vision and captures perfectly her feelings of betrayal as she sees former students turn against her and the unwillingness of many around her to stand up for their own beliefs.
This book should be on all reading lists for anyone involved in development work in a Muslim country. When will we see a reprint?
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on 15 April 2011
This book should be compulsory reading. The enormous changes in the country in which she lived that occurred during the author's lifetime are astounding. An insider's (albeit a privileged one but that has challenges of its own when regimes change), look at the internal workings and ways of thinking Persia/Iran through the changes. Also the effect of other countries behaviour, such as the USA on the events that transpired. Sattareh Farman Farmaian is a woman of immense courage and vision who should be far more widely recognised for her struggles and achievements to improve the lives of Iranian people
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on 9 June 2015
A very intimate read on the history and personal life of a woman who loved her family, adapted, yet searched for further fulfilment to her life. Very recommended to help understand the Moslem mind.
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on 25 May 2014
Book club choice - not mine but I enjoyed it more than I expected.
An interesting account of 'Old Persia'.
Unfortunately stops just before it would have any relevance to modern Iran.
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on 29 January 2014
A wonderful book and extremely enlightening on the evolution and life of both Persian women and men, and their history as the country evolved and still seems to be evolving.
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on 20 May 2015
amazing story of the woman who started the social work movement in Iran. Second time I have bought this book now for friends.
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on 12 January 2014
I purchased this on behalf of my sister, she has read it and says she found it very difficult to put down once she started.
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