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This harrowing true story of life in modern Iran is told from the unique perspective of a foreign journalist and Islamic bride. Born in Iran but schooled in the West at Oxford, Cherry Mosteshar returns to her homeland with the aim of explaining her country to the world.As a member of the wealthy elite, she observes firsthand the prevalence of Western influence prior to the overthrow of the Shah in 1979. However, the religious revolution transforms the country into an extremely conservative Islamic state overnight, and the societal ramifications - especially for women - are shocking. A woman now has a price, that of half a man. Her children belong to her for only the first seven years of their lives. If she refuses to wear the full-length chador, she is branded a whore.Mosteshar describes this demeaning treatment of women through her own struggle with a very traditional husband who is domineering, unyielding, and cruel. Soon after they wed, Mosteshar discovers that he never divorced his first wife. We watch a bright, articulate, spirited woman try to maintain her personal and professional identity as her husband physically and emotionally abuses her. Mosteshar finds herself trapped in a nightmarish life she had previously only witnessed from afar. She eventually escapes - but at the price of having to leave her country.

Unveiled: One Woman's Nightmare in Iran

Author: Cherry Mosteshar

Title: Unveiled: One Woman's Nightmare in Iran

ISBN: 0312140614

ISBN13: 978-0312140618

Publisher: St Martins Pr (March 1, 1996)

Language: English

Subcategory: Historical

Size pdf version: 1720 kb

Size epub version: 1465 kb

Size fb2 version: 1506 kb

Rating: 4.3/5

Pages: 352 pages


Reviews (7)
Umge
Yes, the book is somewhat disjointed, but it is entirely gripping and I could hardly put it down. When I got up in the middle of the night, I found myself reading a little bit more before going back to sleep.

A lot in the book was scary and painful to read, but many times, when reading about Ms. Mosteshar's personal experiences in her marriage, I felt pure fury. Not toward her, but toward her husband and at the teachings and system that produced men like him. For her, I had only compassion and a bit of impatience, as each time her husband did something unforgivable and she seemed to have made up her mind that that was the last straw, she ended up trying to save the marriage after all, or feeling sorry for him, or giving him money yet again.

I notice that a number of reviewers have no sympathy for her or even think Ms. Mosteshar crazy, but having had a grandstand seat for a close look at an abusive marriage, I can understand how the desire to avoid the shame of a failed marriage and a sincere belief in religious teachings about marriage can undermine the normal response to a spouse's outrageous behavior and warp one's sense of self-protection. It doesn't surprise me at all how many disgusting/frightening/enraging episodes of abuse it took before Ms. Mostashar was finally, finally done with her husband.

She was terribly unwise in some of her decisions, as she herself admits over and over. But she was also brave and had a great capacity for loving her family and friends. Ironically, in spite of the British upbringing that made her an unsuitable wife for a man like her husband, she seems to have retained some precepts of Iranian culture deep inside, which served to prolong her suffering, and yet represented something sweet and good in her--the desire to make her husband happy, her unwillingness to embarrass other people, and infinitely more patience with others than I would have had in a similar situation.
Umge
Yes, the book is somewhat disjointed, but it is entirely gripping and I could hardly put it down. When I got up in the middle of the night, I found myself reading a little bit more before going back to sleep.

A lot in the book was scary and painful to read, but many times, when reading about Ms. Mosteshar's personal experiences in her marriage, I felt pure fury. Not toward her, but toward her husband and at the teachings and system that produced men like him. For her, I had only compassion and a bit of impatience, as each time her husband did something unforgivable and she seemed to have made up her mind that that was the last straw, she ended up trying to save the marriage after all, or feeling sorry for him, or giving him money yet again.

I notice that a number of reviewers have no sympathy for her or even think Ms. Mosteshar crazy, but having had a grandstand seat for a close look at an abusive marriage, I can understand how the desire to avoid the shame of a failed marriage and a sincere belief in religious teachings about marriage can undermine the normal response to a spouse's outrageous behavior and warp one's sense of self-protection. It doesn't surprise me at all how many disgusting/frightening/enraging episodes of abuse it took before Ms. Mostashar was finally, finally done with her husband.

She was terribly unwise in some of her decisions, as she herself admits over and over. But she was also brave and had a great capacity for loving her family and friends. Ironically, in spite of the British upbringing that made her an unsuitable wife for a man like her husband, she seems to have retained some precepts of Iranian culture deep inside, which served to prolong her suffering, and yet represented something sweet and good in her--the desire to make her husband happy, her unwillingness to embarrass other people, and infinitely more patience with others than I would have had in a similar situation.
Dagdalas
A must read. I am a male, lived and worked among the Muslim people, and once i started reading the book i could not put it down. Very well written. Every woman who is depressed or disheartened by freedoms of the West ought to read this book. Oh, the despair of not welling to be educated to the reality of life lived by the author. The lady friend who gave me the book, after reading, i told her i would view the book as a sad saga of one woman in the Muslim culture, but having lived and learnt from the Muslim people, i knew that what the author was writing was more than just a story about herself, it is a story about a people, a culture, a belief, etc. that the West ought to learn before they are willing to submit to it. Reading the book rekindles my appreciation of freedom and justice for all. Freedom is not just another word, it is a life lived.
Dagdalas
A must read. I am a male, lived and worked among the Muslim people, and once i started reading the book i could not put it down. Very well written. Every woman who is depressed or disheartened by freedoms of the West ought to read this book. Oh, the despair of not welling to be educated to the reality of life lived by the author. The lady friend who gave me the book, after reading, i told her i would view the book as a sad saga of one woman in the Muslim culture, but having lived and learnt from the Muslim people, i knew that what the author was writing was more than just a story about herself, it is a story about a people, a culture, a belief, etc. that the West ought to learn before they are willing to submit to it. Reading the book rekindles my appreciation of freedom and justice for all. Freedom is not just another word, it is a life lived.
Mave
The bad points: This book was very convoluted and I had trouble keeping up with who was who in the author's family. It was somewhat "talky", I agree with the above review, a good last edit and some more clarification would have been helpful. The good points: I respect that this author obviously put her heart and soul into writing this, by sharing with the reader very intimate details of her life. I could truly understand why she married her good-for-nothing-husband based on my own experience living in a closed society to women. I am glad the author no longer lives in Iran, under those conditions. Her text on how it is difficult to straddle the bridges between two cultures is very poignant. While I admire her dedication to reveal the "true Iran" where not every person who walks the street carries a bomb, I wonder if this is possible, seeing the current state of relations between the West and Iran. It would be interesting if the book contained an addendum about the current President, Mohammed Katami. I also liked her sense of humor, and the cultural tidbits that were past along.
Mave
The bad points: This book was very convoluted and I had trouble keeping up with who was who in the author's family. It was somewhat "talky", I agree with the above review, a good last edit and some more clarification would have been helpful. The good points: I respect that this author obviously put her heart and soul into writing this, by sharing with the reader very intimate details of her life. I could truly understand why she married her good-for-nothing-husband based on my own experience living in a closed society to women. I am glad the author no longer lives in Iran, under those conditions. Her text on how it is difficult to straddle the bridges between two cultures is very poignant. While I admire her dedication to reveal the "true Iran" where not every person who walks the street carries a bomb, I wonder if this is possible, seeing the current state of relations between the West and Iran. It would be interesting if the book contained an addendum about the current President, Mohammed Katami. I also liked her sense of humor, and the cultural tidbits that were past along.
Makaitist
A very stereotype-filled book, totally superficial and misleading. For example, many of the laws regarding the status of women in iran which this author mentions (such as needing the written permission of a father or husband to travel abroad) were in place before the 1979 Islamic revolution when the US-backed Shah was in power, and as for the "oppressive" chador - it is the standard clothing of the vast majority of Iranian women who simply consider it normal part of their customary clothes, just as a typical Western woman considers pants or a blouse to be "normal." Despite the stereotype of the "oppressed hareem girl" promoted by this book, Iranian women are in fact highly politically active, are regularly elected to public office, and were active participants in the 1979 Islamic revolution. Things are not as black-and-white as this book implies. The reader would therefore do better to look elsewhere for an accurate and unbiased exposition of gender roles in modern, post-revolutionary Iran.
Makaitist
A very stereotype-filled book, totally superficial and misleading. For example, many of the laws regarding the status of women in iran which this author mentions (such as needing the written permission of a father or husband to travel abroad) were in place before the 1979 Islamic revolution when the US-backed Shah was in power, and as for the "oppressive" chador - it is the standard clothing of the vast majority of Iranian women who simply consider it normal part of their customary clothes, just as a typical Western woman considers pants or a blouse to be "normal." Despite the stereotype of the "oppressed hareem girl" promoted by this book, Iranian women are in fact highly politically active, are regularly elected to public office, and were active participants in the 1979 Islamic revolution. Things are not as black-and-white as this book implies. The reader would therefore do better to look elsewhere for an accurate and unbiased exposition of gender roles in modern, post-revolutionary Iran.
Arilak
Our women's book club overall found the book to be too "chatty" and very difficult to follow, especially when discussing her myriad family and friends. What was interesting, however, is that this book engendered a very lively discussion on Iran, the role of women, and Western bias in understanding different cultures. Daughter of Persia was mentioned as a better book to read. In all, we felt this was not a great book, but was a good discussion book for a book club.
Arilak
Our women's book club overall found the book to be too "chatty" and very difficult to follow, especially when discussing her myriad family and friends. What was interesting, however, is that this book engendered a very lively discussion on Iran, the role of women, and Western bias in understanding different cultures. Daughter of Persia was mentioned as a better book to read. In all, we felt this was not a great book, but was a good discussion book for a book club.

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