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Book Review: Honeymoon in Tehran

I just finished reading the book:

Moaveni, Azadeh. (2009). Honeymoon in Tehran: Two years of love and danger in Iran. New York: Random House.

And I highly recommend it. Not because it is a balanced look at Iran, even though it is. Not because it focuses on women in Iran, though it does.  But mostly because it is an entertaining story. This is a first-person memoir of an Iranian-American journalist who went to live in Iran as a way of reporting and found love in addition to her work. I found it very engaging and a page turner.

Part of what makes it a page turner is the shadowy character of “Mr. X”, Ms. Moaveni’s minder from the Iranian intelligence ministry. He is scary and unpredictable. “Mr. X” has the power to revoke Ms. Moaveni’s press credentials whenever he wants and always meets with her in deserted places. It’s a little touch of John LeCarre throughout the book.

But it’s not simply a cat and mouse between a Ministry official and a journalist trying to report the truth as she sees it. It’s part sociology guide, part travelogue and part Iranian dating and marriage guide. If you’ve got curiosity about different parts of the world, you’ll find this book of interest.

This would be a good book to read with Iran: A Country Guide, an US gov doc that gives you lots of mostly unshaded facts and figures about Iran. Ms. Moaveni does a good job of showing what these facts and figures mean to the people who actually have to live through them.

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