I confess I was slightly bored by the first half of the story: pre-teen Jewish girl's life in pre-Revolutionary Tehran; that section does make a point that opposition to the Shah was widespread, far from just a radical Moslem "thing". Second part (post-Revolution) is much stronger, though the story ends as the family makes the final decision to emigrate, with a "teaser" that the story of their journey might be forthcoming as a sequel; there is an epilogue telling of the "fate" of most of the main characters at the time the book went to press.
Offering us a quiet, child's-eye view of tumultuous times, Hakakaian weaves her words with grace and skill. There's a bit of Ann Frank in this: as a reader, I knew what was coming in her country, whereas she was innocently exploring first crushes and adolescent adventures. Her lifelong love of language shows, and makes this book a pleasure to read.
Interesting in parts, hard to follow at times, with amusing anecdotes about Roya's family, this tells of late 1970's Iran as the Ayatollah came to power, and life changed for all. A slice of life of the middle east at the onset of a very trying time.