Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi’s living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories become intertwined with the ones they are reading.
For my first ever “real life” book club, I picked up this book. Because I joined them halfway through their reading month (well 6 weeks but who’s counting), I think I had about two weeks to read 400 pages, which is fine.. I could manage that…
Unfortunately, I felt like this book dragged its feet from the very start. I only managed to read 30 pages every time I sat down. I wanted to like this book because the blurb sounds amazing but I soon realized that it just wasn’t going to happen. I stranded at about 130 pages.
Thursday was book club-night and I absolutely loved it! The people are all super nice and it just clicked. (I hope they like me as much as I like them..)
Like me, there were others who hadn’t finished the book and others still who finished it but didn’t like it at all.
I think the overall issue with it was the book discussions. They were too lengthy, too detailed and too dry. We all agreed that the book would have been much better if it was more structured and if it had less book dissecting. We wanted to learn more about the girls and Iran. No one really cared about Nabokov and his Lolita.
A missed opportunity because this book could have been amazing.
Fair to say that this was not a winner.
It got an impressively low rating of 2,5/10. Auwch…
The next book we’ll be reading is “Jij zegt het” by “Connie Palmen”, a Dutch book about Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. It sounds really good but as Reading Lolita sounded great as well, we’ll have to wait and see…
So the book club was a success, the book itself… not so much..