An intelligently sympathetic story of a Persian woman's slow and painful progress from her centuries' old position of chattel toward the concepts of independence of modern Iran. Esmat, devout child of a well-to-do family in Kashan, is married to Ali whom she accepts as absolute master. The Shah's program of modernization first touches the family when All is defrocked of his hereditary position in the mosque by failing to pass the new government examinations. Ali glibly assumes the outward marks of modernization without true comprehension, while Esmat fights bitterly against change- the Christian doctors who help her crippled son, the unveiling orders of the Shah. However, she slowly realizes that her reluctance has furthered understanding, manages to combine the old with the new. And when All dies, she returns to her childhood work of weaving wherein she finds expression and self sufficiency, avoiding the romantic ending the reader suspects and achieving a realism that is satisfying and inspiring. The author, a missionary, has lived in Iran since 1922. From which the insight and the understanding here is derived.