Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran
American-born Azadeh Moaveni, a reporter for Time magazine, gives us a glimpse of an Iran that we don’t usually get to see. Moaveni’s parents fled Iran in the 70s, but she feels strongly connected to the country and its people. This non-fiction book follows two years of Moaveni’s life while living in Iran.
As a reporter, she is forced to meet someone she refers to as “Mr. X” to regularly report in about articles she’s writing or assignments she has taken. Mr. X’s job is apparently to be sure that she doesn’t make Iran look bad to the rest of the world. While it never seems that she compromises her principles or the facts of a story, she often has to placate him, even though he relies heavily on intimidation to keep her in line. He is a undeniable example of how far-reaching the Iranian government was in her life.
When Moaveni meets someone and falls in love, she decides to stay in Iran. Breaking with all Iranian tradition, she and her boyfriend move in together. When she becomes pregnant before getting married, their lives become even more complicated. In Iran, that is a crime punishable by death. It is after the birth of their child that they must truly decide whether to stay or go. It isn’t an easy decision, because they love their country. The sense of community and family that she beautifully describes would be very hard to leave behind.
The personal details of Moaveni’s life and the stories she shares about the people she knows make this an engaging read. Even as I was learning a great many things about Iran and its culture and tradition, I was also eagerly turning pages to see what happened next. Moaveni is a gifted writer and I’ll be looking for her first book, Lipstick Jihad.