VEIL OF ROSES by Laura Fitzgerald


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Freedom takes many forms for a sheltered young Iranian woman who travels to Tucson, Ariz., in search of a new life—and a husband.

Depressed over the small and restrictive life that awaits her in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 27-year-old Tamila Soroush is stunned and grateful when her loving parents give her a one-way plane ticket to America. They send her to Arizona in the hopes that her pragmatic older sister Maryam will find the pretty former school teacher a suitable Persian husband within the three months allotted by her tourist visa. Once she arrives, Tami experiences wonder over the wide array of choices that American women take for granted, like being able to walk down the street uncovered without fear of arrest. During such a walk, on her way to an English class at the local library, she stops at a Starbucks and catches the eye of Ike, a hunky regular dude working there who is charmed by her naïve ways. She likes him too, but dismisses his advances, knowing they would interfere with her family’s plans for her. Considering romantic love a luxury she cannot afford, Tami indulges her rebellious side by photographing the everyday expressions of freedom that would be unheard of in her homeland. She also meets a series of eligible bachelors, including Haroun, a handsome engineer eager for a wife. That Haroun is also a neurotic germaphobe who insists she undergo a full medical evaluation before he proposes does trouble Tami, but she sees him as a sensible answer to her dilemma. Back at the library, she befriends a predictably lovable group of quirky immigrants, including the German sexpot Eva, courtly older Czech gentleman Josef and pregnant Russian mail-order bride Nadia—whose abusive redneck husband makes nutcase Haroun look like a great catch. With her new friends’ encouragement, Tami finds her confidence and inner strength in the face of the inevitable compromises she believes are necessary for her to fulfill her destiny. This newfound boldness leads to an 11th-hour decision that will either send her straight back to Tehran, or offer an opening for a certain smitten barrista who would do anything for his Persian Princess—if only she would ask.

Romantic fish-out-of-water debut with a feminist undertone.

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 2007
ISBN: 0-553-38388-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2006


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