My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book free from the Goodreads first reads program.
Unpaved Road is about a young girl named Niki. This book is the story of her life and like what she basically said (truth is often weirder than fiction). The book tells us of her life growing up in Iran during the political upheavals of the 70s and 80s; and her escape, with her husband, to Stockholm in the 80s when she was 23. Niki is now living in California, USA.
I had problems with the authors Naivete and just general attitude, but I loved the book otherwise. It was engrossing and kept me hooked the entire time. I found myself wondering what would happen next.
Niki Bahara has a way of drawing you in and keeping you. She is very descriptive without being condescending. I was able to "see" and even "feel" the land, people and events as she described it. This is even with English not being her first language. Niki has a gift in this way. She was able to take Iran and make her people into people instead of the abstract idea that I (homeland US) tended to think of them (when thinking of them). She brought them to life for me.
The Not so good:
The book description says:
"Niki chooses to go against the system as well as her protective family and stand up for herself. After falling for a wanted journalist, Niki decides to follow her heart as she is forced to escape the country with him in order to save their lives."I disagree with this.
Why did Niki feel the need to stand up for herself in the first place. Niki tells us her family is loving and protective and not at all critical of her, but she needs to stand up to them? All through the book, people warn her about things, and she disregards them. She thinks that "everyone" is out to curtail her fun and life because they are "jealous" of her. She knew that Behzad was not a good person to love because of her (From the start of the relationship) hiding it from her family. it was a bad idea to deceive her family and friends about Behzad, yet she went ahead and did it. There was no love involved in this. If I had loved someone, I would not have hidden him from my family even if there were consequences. Niki showed herself as a shallow, self-centered girl who didn't know what real love is.
I could not understand Niki's being upset about Behzad's lying to and deceiving her. Yes, he did this (and it is wrong) but Niki also did it. To her friends and family and to herself. All through the book, Niki is lying to her family (and says she loves them). She is forgiven time and time again and assured of their love but she has a hard time forgiving her husband when he does the same thing? It just seems like such a double standard. She expects him to be perfect while she is "free" to say or do whatever comes into her mind.
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