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Marjan Kamali Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Together Tea (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stationery Shop (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Marjan Kamali
Marjan Kamali is a general fiction author best known for The Stationery Shop novel. Her debut story, Together Tea, was adapted for stage and performed in California. This book also earned the author several awards and recognitions in the writing world. Born to Iranian parents, the talented author spent her childhood in Turkey, Iran, Kenya, and Germany. Through Kamali’s writing, you can see how these different cultures influenced Kamali. She later settled in the United States and did her MFA in New York University. Her first degree was in English Literature, and she later received an MBA from Columbia University. Currently, Kamali lives in Boston with her husband and their two children.

The Stationery Shop
The Stationery Shop introduces two people who fell in love but never lived the kind of life they desired. This story started in Tehran in 1953. Mr. Fakhri owns a stationery shop stocked with books, pens, and all kinds of ink. For 17-year-old Young Roya, the stationery shop feels like an oasis. It is here that she comes to find herself and interact with books. Kind Mr. Fakhri enjoys Roya’s company and also helps the young people through their political awakening. It is Fakhri who introduces Roya to Bahman Aslan, a brave and passionate young man who is just as bright as she is.

Immediately these two souls meet, they understand that they are meant for each other. Their love grows fast, and the two seventeen-year-olds decide to marry in the summer. It doesn’t matter that Bahman’s mom is against this decision. Even with the rising political turbulence and the looming coup, this young couple is determined to legalize their union and enjoy life together. One day, Bahman’s family disappears, but Roya can still communicate with the love of her life through letters hidden in books. Mr. Fakhri helps a lot in sneaking these secret letters. Finally, Roya and Bahman decide to marry in the mayor’s office in their parents’ absence.

On the day they agree to meet at the square, Bahman doesn’t show up. Roya goes through a double heartbreak because she also witnesses the death of Mr. Fakhri thanks to a political commotion outside his shop. Soon enough, Roya receives a letter from Bahman stating that he would like to break up. Heartbroken and angry, Roya decides to relocate to the US for her studies. With her elder sister’s help, Roya finally heals, moves on, and even meets a decent man. Sixty years later, Roya is back home, and she is finally looking for closure. How was it so easy for Bahman to forget her? Did he even love her in the first place?
The Stationery Shop is an intriguing story that explores loss, the uncertainty of fate, and reconciliation. Roya is an idealistic teenager who falls in love easy only to have her heartbroken. It is sweet how Mr. Fakhri supported the budding romance until that unfortunate day. However, you will hurt by the betrayal and traumas in this story. The last pages are particularly painful as whatever happened to stop that wedding decades ago comes to light. Despite the heartaches, this beautiful journey of love and faith is totally worth it. You will love the Rumi poems and, just like Roya, enjoy the closure.

Together Tea
Together Tea stars Darya, a doting mother, and her daughter Mina. Darya thinks she has already discovered an ideal gift for her daughter on her 25th birthday, a good husband. After years of matchmaking, Mina is tired of her mother’s antics. She had met numerous Iranian-American bachelors, but none had impressed her enough to want to settle. Mina had grown up in Tehran before relocating to New York City. This means that she knew firsthand what cultural clashes felt like. However, with her mother’s constant nagging about the need for a husband, Mina is starting to feel like the greatest clashes are happening right inside her home.

After all matchmaking efforts fail to bear any fruits, Mina and Darya head back to Iran. Once again, they get immersed in the Persian culture, and both start to understand each other. When Mina finally falls in love with a young man who never appeared in her mother’s list of eligible bachelors, there is no telling how these two women’s appreciation for each other will go. This story is told in two timelines. The first one is in 1996 when Mina is in her mid-20s. This young lady, together with her daughter, decides to go back to Iran. The second timeline is in 1978 when these two women and the rest of the family are forced to escape to America thanks to the Iranian revolution.

This is a joyous story on love and family. It is a tale of a woman looking to find her place in society amid many factors beyond her control. What starts as a cute chick-lit turns into something deeper and much more enjoyable. All the information about Iran is intriguing and shows a part of this country that many of us know little about. Mina’s journey of self-discovery is captivating, and the ending will leave you almost in tears. Will her relationship with the man of her choice stand the test of time? What impact will the relationship have on the bond between mother and daughter?

Together Tea is a wonderful story with a lovable cast. Through the character’s experiences, the author tells Iran’s history both before and after the Revolution. We also get to see the impact of this period on the characters’ lives many years later. Kamali does a good job of showing how the media only reports one side of the story. In so doing, many do not get a chance to hear about the people living in this country and their way of life. Through Mina and Darya’s lives, you also get to see the mixed emotions characteristic of the immigrant experience. You will also enjoy the information on love, marriage, and life in general.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Marjan Kamali

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