Posing as newlyweds on their honeymoon, Canadian Alison Wearing and a male friend make a five-month clockwise tour of Iran. Wearing's travelogue describes her experiences wearing the hijab and chador, but mostly her encounters with the Iranian people, recorded in their English. What I enjoyed most about the book was the vicarious experience of meeting such kind, excited, generous people, many of them random strangers inviting the foreign couple to their homes, showing them around town, or offering handfuls of food -- practicing the Persian custom of ta'arouf.
However, I couldn't help but be annoyed by the author-narrator. She admittedly lost a travel companion on a previous trip because she was too absorbed in a book. She and her "husband" don't get along on the trip. It seems like she did little to no research about Iran beforehand. Thus at times I couldn't help but feel they were a couple of Westerners mooching off the generosity of strangers, who would not reciprocate the hospitality back home. Wearing also has a tendency to give her impressions in sentence fragments, a stylistic choice which doesn't suit me.
But this book is still great as vicarious travel. It's not like I would be going on a Persian honeymoon anytime soon.
Excellent travel memoir about a Canadian woman's voyages through modern Iran under the guise of a honeymoon. (In reality, her "husband" is her gay roommate). Describes the people and places they visited without overemphasizing the political situation. Portrays Iran as a country with a difficult political situation but with a warm, likeable populace.
A fascinating look into the Iran of today, from a Canadian woman's point of view. It shows you a side of Iran that you will not get from the nightly news.