Tapestries of the Heart by Nooshie Motaref
This follows the story of four generations of Persian women over the duration of 100 years. Based on some of Motaref’s experiences the aim of the novel was to educate people on Iran and show a different side, which is otherwise ignored in Western Literature. What Nooshie has created is a wonderful book that is both enlightening and heart breaking.
The book highlights the struggle that Iranian women face on a daily basis, to not only live a fairer way of life and no longer be viewed and treated as third class citizens, but also for the right to an education. The book is beautifully written and Nooshie perfectly captured the confusion of the younger characters as to why it was necessary to do certain things such as covering one’s head, or the anger they received when reading ‘love poetry with dirty words’ It’s easy, living in Western Society to take certain things for granted, and whilst I’m in no way saying that life is completely fair for women yet (we still have a long way to go) we are incredibly lucky to be free to learn.
Tapestries of the Heart certainly fulfilled its objective on educating me to the true side of Iran and it’s relationships and attitudes towards it’s women and it will make you admire the strength and fortitude it must have taken Persian women over the years to stand up and fight for what they so rightfully deserve.
Tapestries of the Heart is published by Clink Street Publishing and is available for the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £4.99) The print edition is available in all good bookstores (RRP £8.99)
Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes by Virginia Nicholson.
An honest look at some of the real young (and older) women who lived through the 1950’s. I’d defy anyone to think of this time period and not think of the iconic women like Marilyn Monroe and the glamorous fashions adorned by the women of the time. However all was not as rosy as it appeared on the surface. After the war women struggled to keep the jobs they had stepped into when the men were away fighting, and whilst the country was seeing a young Princess become a Queen, there was still a struggle ahead for women.
The thing that made this book enjoyable were the little snippets of insight provided by the women who lived through it all. The struggle that women had not only in trying to maintain their appearance and their home, but also to escape the destiny which seemed to await all women, marriage. That’s right in the 1950’s women could have jobs but not careers, a woman who had such ambitions was considered odd and seen as an outsider. It seemed pre-determined that all women were destined to work as clerical assistants or typists for a short time but as soon as they married, they were to give it all up and stay at home to keep the house clean, make sure dinner was on the table and the children were looked after. This often involved long days with little to no communication with the outside world. This is a great insight into the real struggle women had in the 1950’s, a book with tones that may seem familiar to modern day women.
Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes is published by Viking and is available for the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £6.99) The print edition is available in all good bookstores (RRP £11.89)
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.
This is the latest book from one of my favourite authors. Ronson has a thought provoking back catalogue of work including The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Psychopath Test. But it was this piece of work that had the biggest effect on me.
The idea behind the book started when Jon Ronson’s online identity was stolen, when he tracked down the people behind it he felt supported by the online community who shared his outrage and supported him in publicly shaming the trio, but then things got out of hand, with death threats and general vitriolic behaviour escalating. This got Jon thinking about the power of the internet and the public shaming that seems to happen on a daily basis.
Through first hand interviewees with both the victims of public shaming and the people who exposed them, this book shows what happens when we’ve logged off from our tirade of unexplainable anger and moved on with our life. The reality is there’s often someone left with their life in tatters, who’s lost their job and often suffer from severe depression which prevents them from leaving their home. Ronson’s style of writing is so intelligent yet casual, that you almost feel as though you’re having a chat over a cup of coffee. This was an eye opening book and once I started I found it hard to put down, it will make you think twice about how you react to people online and also make you question if you yourself have ever been part of an online mob mentality that has once shamed someone. Another great read, from a fantastic author, Jon does a great job of providing plenty of food for thought.
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is published by Picador and is available for the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £10.99) The print edition is available in all good bookstores (RRP £13.99)