I enjoyed this as Hooman Majd writes in an engaging way and modern Iran is fascinating anyway, a society which had a well justified revolution against a tyrannical and increasingly erratic Shah. The imposition of a deeply fundamentalist Shia Islam which inter alia marginalised women struck a strong chord initially among very many Iranians, but increasing development and in particular the expansion of education have required a softening of some aspects as increasingly women outnumber men in universities and in the ranks of the professions.
Although Majd is a journalist, he had to promise not to write in Iran and this is a personal memoir, tracing his family's background in Iran and his family's decades long exile, his own marriage and birth of his child and his desire to enable this American born child to experience its Iranian heritage. The It is only towards the end of the book that he moves to more explicitly political commentary, writing about international seminars he attended in Teheran towards the end of his stay.
The book is mainly a well told tale of a long vacation with family and covers the mundane things of life, and explains how they can seem the same as in any big city anywhere, but suddenly the situation can become totally different and getting a flat in Teheran is not quite the same as getting one in New York. There is a universally familiar ring to the family reunions, but these are after decades of separation and some of the guests have shocking stories of incarceration to tell and others are with relatives and connections including some with formerly very important political figures. The 1984 type officialdom is always there, mostly in the background but occasionally in his face when he has been taken for questioning.
A tourist in Iran will be struck by the innate friendliness and dignity of the Iranian people as was Hooman Majd and will see the sights and sounds of an amazingly beautiful country. This book is a good read, giving a light-hearted and humorous account of a more in depth stay there.