This post contains affiliate links. I chose to read The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali only because I heard so many people rave about it. I wasn’t disappointed.
About the Stationery Shop
The story is initially set in Iran in 1953. Roya is 17 years old and loves Tuesdays when she can stop by the local book shop. The owner, Mr. Fakhri, knows the books she loves to read and sets them aside for her. One day when she’s in there, another of Mr. Faikhri’s favorite customers, Bahman, breezes in. He sparks Roya’s interest immediately, and within a few months, thanks to Mr. Fakhri’s intervention, they are dating.
Her father, who is very interested in politics, loves the match because Bahman is active politically. Roya’s father supports her in all she does and wants her to get an education, unlike many parents of girls during that time and place.
However, the couple faces many problems. One is that Bahman’s mother seems mentally unstable. She’s demanding and childish, and she does not like Roya. The other problem is that Iran is in the middle of a revolution. Like so many historical events–wars, pandemics, revolutions–the stream of life has a way of forcing us in directions we had never considered. Such is the case with Roya and Bahman.
The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali weaves back and forth all the way back to 1916 to the present in 2013. This is a beautiful love story that will likely cause you to cry. I cried multiple times, and days after I finished reading the story, I found myself still thinking about it!
My Thoughts on the Book
I grew up in the 1970s, and I remember the events discussed in this book. I found it interesting to read what life was like in Iran way back in the ’50s.
This story also made me accept yet again that life is not what we imagine at 17. Sometimes we have to let our dreams go to get about the practicality of living.
By the end of the book, Roya is in her 70s, and because I am nearing 50, I found myself empathizing even more with her.
I highly recommend this book!
I give The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.