Received from Netgalley for review
Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend,
Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic
promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and
Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship
came to light.
So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that
they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that
they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by
the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of
loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.
Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran,
homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body
is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and
accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will
never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be
loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing
her true self?
A close friend of mine is Muslim so I when I read the description of this novel I knew I had to read it. This was a great novel about a very taboo subject. I'm sure there is no other novel about this exact subject out there.
Sahar and Nasrin have been best friend their whole lives.
They are both girls.
And they are in love with each other.
Not too big of a deal.
Until you realize they are Muslim and they live in Iran.
Now it's a HUGE deal.
They steal kisses and tell each other they love each other. They're not sure how they will always be together but they are sure that they will be.
Until Nasren's parents agree to have her become engaged. Sahar realizes that she is about lose the love of her life. Unless she can make the ultimate sacrifice and convicne herself that her love for this girl is worth everything, even her gender. Sahar finds out that sexual reassignment surgery is legal and even covered by insurance in some cases.
But Sahar is a girl. She is not a man trapped inside a woman's body. But she also knows that the only legal and safe way she can be with Nasren is by becoming a man.
What will Sahar choose? Will she make decide to sacrifice everything to become a man so she can be with Nasren? Or will be realize that sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing and sometimes you have to let go of the ones you love.
I spoke with my friend who is Muslim. She said that homosexuality if completely against their religion, but also that sexual reassignment is as well. But this novel tends to focus more on the laws of the country, not of the religion. In the Muslim community, when thinking of those living in Arab nations, one tends to confuses religion and government as the same thing and she set me straight and me it's not. The government is heavily based on the religion but not entirely.
I was totally wrapped up in this novel. I loved it. I highly suggest you give this novel a chance. You will never read anything else like it.