53 Letters for My Lover by Leylah Attar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the most poignant reads I've had this year and if I could give it 6 stars, I would. This book is unique in the merging of the Persian and Canadian cultures and it is told over a 20 year time span, right up to contemporary times. I know little about Persian culture but I enjoyed and learnt from the snapshots afforded throughout the book. Shayda is Persian, beautiful, exotic but expected to marry once her family ensured her passage to Canada. Hafez is her husband but there were secrets she wasn't ever told. This first 30% of the book gripped me with its grim reality and the feelings it evoked in me. Troy is Canadian and someone who pops up in Shayda's life.
Troy and Shayda, all drawn to one another. When they were together, it was like magic, incomparable to your average love story, but when they were apart, it was achingly painful. These two had me in knots, thinking obsessively about the book and I almost couldn't bear to continue.
"You're dangerous. And you leave bruises. And your words disrobe me, and your kisses destroy me."
I needed some hand holding to progress, but I am so glad I continued. What these two go through in their lives is gritty, difficult but quite wonderful.
"I lift the bed sheet over our heads, letting the light filter through the soft cotton, while we hold hands in our private little fort."
I couldn't ever predict what was round the corner for these two, their families and where the journey would end. I am captivated by the story that Leylah Attar created. Her writing is seamless, exotic and conjures every scene so perfectly in your mind. I cried after closing the book, not during the book. The emotions evoked by this read leave me in admiration of this experience and the characters.
Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
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