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Half the World Kindle Edition
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I thoroughly recommend Half the World (the author cleverly explains the meaning of the title within the pages). This book will engender much emotional reflection about present day conflicts around the world and how the impact of revolution disruptively rips through families and society.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In the late 1970s, an event, arguably the single most important event in the Middle East of the twentieth century, threatened to upset that stability. In 1979, the Iranian revolution overthrew the secular westernized rule of the Shah of Iran. The result was a fundamental change in the governing of the country. The Ayatollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the majority Shi'ite population, returned from exile in France and established an Islamic State. This dramatic change affected all of Iranian society as well as the relationships between Iran and the rest of the World.
Through "The Diary of Ann Frank", history and the World gained valuable insights into the human drama that was World War II. Likewise, the story of the upheaval that was the Iranian revolution of the 1970s, can best be told through the eyes of a young Dutch woman who fell in love with an Iran University professor. She agreed to follow her husband to his native land where they would build their family.
Corri van de Stege kept copious notes of the journey in her diary, as the young couple moved from London to Tehran and finally to the University in Isfahan. "Half the World” is the very personal story of the young van de Stege's struggle to find her place as a foreigner living in Iran both before and after the cultural changes of the Iranian revolution.
She provides special insights into the human drama unfolding as foreigners and Iranians alike realize change is coming. Some welcome the return to the old religious traditions, especially as regards to the treatment of women. Others fear the loss of freedoms with which they had become accustomed.
This is a compelling story derived directly from the diary of one who lived at this critical time. Van de Stege is a masterful writer. The story does not get bogged down in political or philosophical discussions as is so often the case with books about real events. I felt the story was a bit slow in the beginning, similar to the way a train approaches a steep incline. As the train tops the incline, it gathers speed. Likewise once the base of the story is established, it reads rapidly with each page urging the reader onto the next page.
The book was enjoyable both as a historical insight into this pivotal event and as a story of a young women's struggle to adapt to a new and different culture and lifestyle. I would recommend "Half the World" to all serious historians as well as hopeful romantics.