Synopses & Reviews
Jasmine Fahroodhi has always been fascinated by her enigmatic Iranian father. With his strange habits and shrouded past, she can't fathom how he ended up marrying her prim American mother. But lately love in general feels just as incomprehensible. After a disastrous romance sends her into a tailspin, causing her to fail out of college just shy of graduation, a conflicted Jasmine returns home without any idea where her life is headed. Her father has at least one idea — he has big plans for a hastegar, an arranged marriage. Confused, furious, but intrigued, Jasmine searches for her match, meeting suitor after suitor with increasingly disastrous (and humorous) results. As she begins to open herself up to the mysteries of familial and romantic love, Jasmine discovers the truth about her father, and an even more evasive figure — herself — in this highly original and striking debut novel.
"Eslami's clumsy debut attempts to unsnarl the relationships that paralyze a dysfunctional Iranian-American family living in Arrowhead, Ga. When Jasmine Fahroodhi flunks out of the University of Chicago just shy of graduation, her parents bring her home to marry her off. Even though her aloof doctor father, Yusef, married an American instead of the bride his parents chose for him, he wants Jasmine's marriage to be arranged. Jasmine's endlessly cheerful former cheerleader mother, Margaret, embraces 'Plan B' with a startling zeal, though Jasmine's youthful angst leads her to vacillate between passivity and sudden outbursts of sarcasm as she submits to a series of interminable dinners with a parade of unsuitable suitors. Unfortunately, Eslami loses her footing in the last third of the book when Yusef encounters vague but troubling medical problems, Jasmine finally finds something to care about in a new job and the perfect man with a mysterious past enters the scene. Things end peachily, but the facile resolution and tepid finale feel as forced as put-upon Jasmine's feel-good turnaround." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This debut's real strength lies in its treatment of the Fahroodi family's complex relationships and of Jasmine's journey into womanhood." Library Journal
"A realistic and heartfelt depiction of a young woman at a crossroads... and how...she finds a way to navigate both the expectations of her parents and her own burgeoning desires." Booklist
A rich and soul-searching novel about an Iranian-American girl whose enigmatic father has decided to arrange her marriage.
Jasmine's Iranian father has always fascinated her. With his strange habits and mysterious past, how he and her prim American mother ever got married was always beyond her, although lately, it seemed that love in general was beyond her. Failing out of school just months before graduation after a disastrous romance sent her into a tailspin, a sullen Jasmine returns home without any idea where her life is headed. Her father has at least one idea — he will arrange a hastegar, a marriage, between Jasmine and the man he sees fit. Confused, furious, and yet intrigued, Jasmine meets suitor after suitor to increasingly disastrous results. As she continues on this strange search for her match, she is also searching for an even more evasive figure — her father. Only by opening herself up to the mysteries of familial and romantic love will Jasmine discover her own strength, in Elizabeth Eslami's highly original and striking debut novel.
A superbly cranky American daughter and her impossible, mysterious Iranian father are the fabulous characters populating this wonderful novel.... A cross-cultural family drama that cracks through old notions.--Joan Silber, author of The Size of the World.
About the Author
Iranian-American author Elizabeth Eslami was born in South Carolina in 1978. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. She has published numerous short stories. Bone Worship is her first novel. She lives in Eugene, OR.