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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Finalist Best Nonfiction-Stanford University Libraries- William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

Solacers tells the touching story of a 5-year old child’s search for family life and safety following the divorce of his parents in Iran during the 1960’s. The first child of a heartless father and a discarded mother is left to fend for himself on the streets of Mashhad,...more
Paperback, 297 pages
Published 2012 by Red Corn Poppy Books
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This book was won in the First Read contest.

This book is based on the author's childhood in Iran. This book is from the 1950's through the 1970's. This book is heart-wrenching. Reading about how a mother and child can not be together. How a child is forgotten and disregarded. It is about being lost, having not hope and then it turns out that this child makes sure he finds his own way.

This book makes the reader want to cry with frustration or cry about the lost childhood. But this...more
Living in a quiet corner of Canada, I seek books that move me and take me on journey to places different than my own. I look for inspiring stories from remote corners and cultures of the world. Books that help me become a better human, like this one or the ones written about the life of Gandhi. I borrowed this book from a friend who had won it at goodreads and was hooked from the very first page. A beautifully written human tail with perfection in the voice of the forgotten little boy. A must re...more
Michael Jennings
After reading Solacers, the reader will come away with the realization and validation for the justification in believing in a better tomorrow; this appears to be a recurring theme throughout the memoir. From the very opening pages, I found myself captivated by the ensuing narrative of Golmakani’s extremely hard and difficult existence in the back villages of Iran. Every page afforded me the opportunity to witness the author’s trials and tribulations—from the opening page to the last. So enmeshed...more
"Solacers" is a big look into a largely unknown culture from the point of view of one of the unprivileged inside it. I was touched by the matter of fact way in which the story was told, not only because of the bad times our young protagonist goes through, but also because of the way in which he decides to thank every single person that helped him along the way.

The writing itself would have benefited from a more exhaustive editing work. Even though the language is very good, the long sentences an...more
Kimberly Morghan
I found this book pretty intense. The plight of the poor author as an unwanted child of divorced parents forced to try to survive on the streets of Iran was compelling. I couldn't believe how much optimism he had throughout all the amazing hardships he had to contend with. I read the book straight through with barely a break. The author's narrative style jumped around a bit and was repetitive at times, but this didn't really detract much from the story itself. It was a worthwhile read.
An interesting glimpse into life in Iran during the late 1950-1970s. This is the true story of a little boy caught in the tug of war of divorced parents in a country that doesn't have the same family court system that we. A very shocking and hard story to read at times. I really grew to love this little boy quickly. The strength of the human spirit really is remarkable! Maybe not the most well written memoir but certainly a good read!
I won this book and really enjoyed reading it. I felt such sympathy for the author, who struggled as an unwanted child in Iran. I found myself cheering for him and hoping someone would reach out to this poor, defenseless child and provide him with the basic necessities and, even more importantly, the love for which he so desperately yearned. Thank you for sharing your story!
You are a very brave man!! You have lead such an interesting life, full of hardships and yet you overcame everything and were able to achieve your goals. Your story really made me think about all the children out there who don't have families or permanent residences. I Loved that you acknowledged everyone who helped you. Your book was very well written.
Jun 11, 2011 Lulu marked it as to-read
I won this book from the first reads giveaways and I am so excited to read it. Thank you.
Suzanne Smythe
interesting journey , from a young boy who was left on his own from an early age .
Diane Alexander
Arion Golmakani’s memoir, Solacers, is the story of his often grueling and always challenging childhood in pre-revolutionary Iran. It will grip you from the first page, as a little boy is taken away from his mother, yet again, with her permission. If you’re a little boy in Iran in the early sixties—unwanted by your family, passed from one foster home to another—where do you go, what do you do, and where do you find solace?
You might expect this to be a depressing tale, and that this young boy wou...more

I just finished reading Solacers and must say how moved I was. The story brought tears to my eyes countless times. I was completely amazed that an individual can triumph as a man after such a neglected, lost, and abusive childhood. Albeit sad, the story is filled with hope. A must read.

I am buying a copy for a young man struggling with his past. This book can certainly help him focus on his future, believe in himself and become who he wants to be regardless of what is behind him. Thank you Ario...more
A very enthralling read of the author's life growing up in Iran. There were times that I felt like I was almost there with was happening, and other times that I just wanted to read more of what was going on :)

Thank you for having this in the first-reads giveaway program also and giving me a chance to win and review this copy. Thank you Arion! :)
If you loved The Glass Castle or Angela's Ashes then this is the book you've longed for! I cried, laughed, prayed and cheered on Arion Golmakani from the first page. He had an incredible story to tell and his grace, forgiveness, and acceptance of his life and others is truly to be admired!!!
Mohsen Hamedi
خوندمش، لذت بردم، بعضی جاهاش چند قطره اشک ریختم، بعضی جاهاش شاد شدم خندیدم خوشحال شدم، بعضی جاهاش هیجانزده شدم، بعضی جاهاش باورم نشد،....... در پایانش منم امیدوار شدم به جهانی که "من" و "تو" "ما" بشوند
Sharee Hirschi
A heartbreaking insightful look into a culture I know very little about. Great book!
Very moving story of a boy who survives things some of us can't even imagine going through or letting a child go through.
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Arion is an American author of Iranian origins. He was educated at College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.

Arion's first book Solacers was 2012 Best nonfiction finalist- Stanford University Libraries- William Saroyan International Prize for Writting
More about Arion Golmakani...

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