What transpires between the lines reveals how the embargo imposed by the US affects the everyday life of a student in Teheran or how Ahmadinejad’s public speeches invade the life-choices of individuals and entire families. We experience the crushing, material weight which dictates the use of the chador, and other external apparel, as well as the determined attempt at resistance marked by clandestine parties where alcohol and drugs circulate freely. It comes as a surprise that these men and women are so like us; that they have similar aspirations and problems which are common to all human beings. And yet, the crushing regime that governs them has created an enormous fear-generating abyss between them and us.
The writer is child of mixed Italian and Iranian parents. Her personal history is intrinsic to our understanding of this lively, detailed journey, and unfamiliar world. By the end of the book we are left with the urge to find out more, to hear other opinions concerning what we have both “seen” and experienced; a desire to compare and contrast which provokes us into not remaining simply partially informed spectators.