A love story and a reporter's first draft of history, Honeymoon in Tehran is a stirring, trenchant, and deeply personal chronicle of two years in the maelstrom of Iranian life.
Azadeh Moaveni, Middle East correspondent for Time magazine, returns to Iran to cover the rise of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As she documents the firebrand leader's entry onto the world stage, Moaveni portrays a society too often caricatured as the heartland of militant Islam. Living and working in Tehran, she finds a nation that yearns for freedom and contact with the West, but whose economic grievances and nationalist spirit find a temporary outlet in Ahmadinejad's strident pronouncements. She explores the cultural identity crisis and class frustration that pits Iran's next generation against the Islamic system.
Azadeh falls in love with a young Iranian man and decides to get married. She finds herself navigating an altogether different side of Iranian life. Preparing to be wed by a mullah, she sits in on a government marriage prep class where young couples are instructed to enjoy sex. She visits Tehran's bridal bazaar and finds that the Iranian wedding has become an outrageously lavish-though often still gender-segregated-production. When she becomes pregnant, she must prepare to give birth in an Iranian hospital, at the same time observing her friends' struggles with their children, who must learn to say one thing at home and another at school.
Azadeh continues to report for Time on Iran's nuclear standoff with the West and Iranians' dissatisfaction with Ahmadinejad's heavy-handed rule. But as women are arrested on the street for "immodest dress" and the authorities unleash a campaign of intimidation against journalists, the country's dark side reemerges. This fundamentalist turn, along with the chilling presence of "Mr. X," the government agent assigned to mind her every step, Azadeh makes the hard decision that her future lies outside Iran.
Condition: Very Good
Goodreads rating: 3.00/5