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The Rose Hotel

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  630 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
A country in chaos, a clash of civilizations, and a family torn asunder...In the midst of the upheaval and violence of Iran's 1979 revolution, a young girl struggles to make sense of a complex swirl of mystery and change. In the vein of The Kite Runner, Iran-born author, Rahimeh Andalibian tells the true-life story of her Iranian Muslim family and two brutal crimes – one t ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published September 16th 2012 by Nightingale Press (first published September 4th 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,468)
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Jul 02, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, iran-fic-lit
Give a control freak religion, a family, and a country where emotional (and physical) abuse is accepted and you have a dysfunctional family. Add the Andalibian family’s bent towards risk taking and burying secrets and you have a toxic brew.

In Iran, the eldest son’s rebellion led to tragedy for which Maman (the mother) blames Baba (her controlling husband). Other tragedies follow. It would seem that Baba would be at home in the new Islamic state and the Ayatollahs seem to know they owe him but th
Sep 09, 2015 Laila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you, Goodreads, for helping me find out about The Rose Hotel.

This memoir follows the story of the author as a young girl during the 1979 revolution in Iran, and the hardships that followed for her family. The author's eldest brother was accused of a terrible crime, and the family felt the emotional repercussions for decades afterwards. The content is quite emotional, and there is a brief graphic description of a crime tha
Jun 04, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads/First Reads
Shelves: memoir, poignant
"The Rose Hotel" a stirring and poignant memoir which I won through Goodreads/First Reads opens in Mashhad Iran in 1978 where resistance is growing against the corrupt, authoritarian government of the Shah but Haji Andaliban the hardworking, devout owner of the Rose Hotel and his family thrive. In an atmosphere of discontent as the Islamic Revolution brews , Haji not only agrees to hide Ayatollah Khabazi an intimate in the Khomeini circle, and his family but to find and hold two young rapists in ...more
Genna Evelyn
Feb 12, 2013 Genna Evelyn rated it liked it
An excellent and captivating generational tale about a Muslim family in Iran and America. I wish better editing had been done... What Is up with shoddy editing these days??? But other than that I really enjoyed Dr. Rahimeh's narrative of her life an experiences growing up in a (typically!) dysfunctional and broken family and her observations of its effect on each member, as she grew up an became a clinical psychologist. Very eye opening and thought provoking.
Aug 12, 2015 Jeanette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Three times a halting strike and you are out. The earlier two sessions I read nearly 100 pages each time (weeks apart as well because of an intervening trip) and going back for the third attempt I got in about 30 pages more before giving up progression of the general moan, and proceeded to skim read to the ending.

Sad, horrific family history after the Shah's fall and subsequent Iranian Revolution. And yet as difficult as the monstrous crimes and behaviors described, it was yet further beyond di
Michele Gorman
Jan 06, 2013 Michele Gorman rated it really liked it
This was a good story, well-written and it kept my attention. My only criticism is that the narrator used a lot of foreshadowing, and I'd have preferred to read about the events as they happened rather than be told beforehand that they were going to happen.


The Rose Hotel: A Memoir of Secrets, Loss, and Love From Iran to America by Rahimeh Andalibian is an exceptionally beautiful memoir and which captures all of the minute details of life alongside the overpowering events and shows how family is shaped, the bonds forged out of pain, grief, struggles, and well as immense love and forgiveness. In Andalibian’s memoir she tries to make sense of her father avenging a rape as well as dealing with her brother being accused of murder, and in her journ
Angel **Book Junkie**
So, at first I was thinking more like two stars but after learning that The Rose Hotel was the authors real life journey I felt compelled to give it an additional star. Also, the author can write a story. By the time that I got a little over halfway thru the book I was wishing for the book to end. I felt like the events were amazing and seeing the struggle and the shame of the family was remarkable. When I was reading how deep the dialogue was in the story I felt like there were times that I fel ...more
Dec 05, 2012 Anand rated it it was amazing
If you ignore the specifics, this story can be a mirror for so many of us, whatever country, culture and religion you may belong to. Many of us are transplants, either from region to another within our own country, or from one country to another. This story so lucidly, but so brilliantly and poignantly, captures the emotions, lows and vagaries of life faced by such transplants.

On one hand are certain societal norms that compels a person (and families) to conform, whether or not it causes discom
Jun 07, 2013 Kaitlin rated it liked it
Time it took to read: 9 nights. Not because of lack of reading – I read every night – this is a LONG book. It is an auto-biography of Dr. Andalibian’s life, her whole life to date. Did I mention it was long?

That sounds harsh. It was a book out of my comfort zone about a young girl and her family growing up in Mashhad, Iran during the late 70′s, early 80′s all the way up to current time. I downloaded it because of the great reviews and to broaden my knowledge of another culture. I do enjoy books
Jan 24, 2013 Soad rated it really liked it
Writing this review is difficult for me.I finished this book in two sittings and it was hard for me to read.I am not a person that can handle tragedy.On the outside I am stronger then a rock but inside I am the weakest sparrow.Being an Iraqi-american living in Iraq you really dont know which is home and in the end neither are.It is very difficult living in a foreign land ...either way.Though I respect this story and its narrator I disagree with her position on religion. Being Shia we are taught ...more
Virginia Beam
(From a Goodreads giveaway.)

The Rose Hotel was beautiful, lyrical, and impossible to put down. I became so invested in the story that when I finished it, I found myself wanting to look up the "characters," about whom I had come to care deeply. Her father could be my father, were he Christian instead of Muslim. The ending was real and strangely satisfying.

I only wish the writing had been stronger. It's such a compelling story that it's frustrating to think how much better it could have been with
Merrill Frazier
Apr 20, 2016 Merrill Frazier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grief through the lens of a Muslim family as they are forced to flee Iran in the 1970s. This ticked all of my boxes (Middle Eastern, immigrants, the 70s). This was a strong 4 but then I cried at the end so a 5.
Mary Drayer
Jun 03, 2015 Mary Drayer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book...the reader is transported to Iran-learn a little history, tragedy, family issues, and coming to America.
Nancy Kennedy
Jul 09, 2015 Nancy Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rahimeh Andalibian tells the dramatic story of the implosion of her once secure and happy Iranian family following the 1979 Islamic revolution. The owner of a hotel in the city of Mashhad that caters to Muslim pilgrims, Rahimeh's father, her beloved Baba, becomes involved in an event that ultimately traps the family in the brutal regime of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and exacts an unimaginable price.

Rahimeh is just 5-years-old when the story begins, one of five children of Baba and Maman. Sh
Apr 06, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend The Rose Hotel: A Memoir of Secrets, Loss, and Love From Iran to America by Rahimeh Andalibian. This memoir of Rahimeh is not only of herself but her family. It is not just a telling of events, it is family life going through the deepest of intense emotions. On the family level, it portrays a family stuck in grief and not able to recognize the hold it had over them.

On a country level, it shows Iran as going from one terrible regime of suppression and terrorizing by the SAVAK
Jan 15, 2013 Chantelle rated it really liked it
I loved this memoir. I loved Rahimeh's family, as full of flaws as they were. I almost had to give up in the middle because bad. things. kept. happening. and I couldn't bear it. I couldn't bear it if this entire family went through everything they had to go through and things STILL didn't turn out well for them. I'm so glad I stuck with it and finished the book. I'm so glad Rahimeh's family was able to come together and heal.
Jun 04, 2015 Cyndi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story of a family forced to leave Iran adjust to a new life. Highly recommended.
Dec 20, 2012 Kyle rated it it was amazing
This book was so awesome in not only the struggle of family histories/myths and cultural education and experiences different from my own, but the writing brought me right along in the story. It was beautifully written with compassion and brought to my mind my own family drama. Very well done. Thank you. I will recommend as well on my page on Facebook. thank you Rahimeh Andalibian.
Vivienne Gardner
Jan 26, 2013 Vivienne Gardner rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most compelling books I have read for a long time. When I had finished it I wanted more. Her descriptions of her family and their life is brilliant and it makes you want to meet Maman and Baba in person. This also gives a clear and personal account of the revolution in Iran and a good understanding of those who follow Islam. All together an absolutely excellent book.
A moving memoir.

The author was born & raised in Mashhad, Iran, to a good Muslim family. They ran the Rose Hotel where no alcohol was allowed and women must be covered. This was during the days of the reign of the Shah. Her father was glad of the 1979 revolution when the Islamists took over the country. At the same time, there was a brutal rape in Mashhad and her father found the young rapists. He was asked by the local iman/religious leader to house the rapists in his hotel which he did. The
Mar 19, 2015 Gayle rated it really liked it
I'm so glad I read this. Besides being a fascinating account of one family's experiences in the Iranian Revolution in the 70's, it is the story of a family shattered by trauma and grief and their dysfunctional ways of coping with loss and emotions. Written by one of the children who went on to become a psychologist, this book gives great insight into the domino like effect of not dealing with trauma and the chaotic emotions that accompany it in a healthy way. It also gives insight into an Irania ...more
Interesting book about a family's life in Iran and emigration to the states. The family's oldest son was falsely accused and executed under the new regime in Iran, but the family never talked about it with their other kids and most of them ended up pretty messed up. The author attributes almost all of her family's problems to that, but there is obviously other dysfunctions -- most likely a huge amount of entitlement and indulgence -- underlying some of her brother's behaviors. The constant need ...more
I received a free copy through Goodreads.
The author Rahimeh Andalibian, takes us on a journey through her life in Iran to her current life in the USA. It certainly was a journey filled with regret, heartbreak, forgiveness and a whole host of emotions that just can't be captured.

Dr. Andalibian is a good story teller. She was able to incorporate the stories and views of her family members into this memoir to give us further insight into everything that happened. It was quite the intriguing memo
Sandra Frey
Jul 07, 2015 Sandra Frey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received an advance copy of this book through a First Reads giveaway. It's quite a moving portrait of a family in crisis--sometimes a slow-burning one, sometimes rapid fire. Although the evolving Iranian political landscape and generational/religious expectations certainly play an important role in their story, the most compelling facet is a simple, universally relatable question: How do you build yourself a comfort zone from scratch when nearly everything that grounded you has been torn away? ...more
Jun 04, 2015 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating look into an Iranian family who gets caught in the political turmoil in the 70's, resulting in a life change so drastic, it has repercussions for decades. The author describes the tragic events the family endures with raw emotional depth that is truly affecting. What resonates is how deeply parents love and want to protect their children and how difficult it must be to leave one's beloved homeland for the unknown in a new country. Beautifully written and eye-opening, a goo ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the human story of the book (i.e. how a tragedy impacts different members of a family, and has long term consequences -and how it's possible to survive the tragedy by variety of methods). As a reader, you can't help but really feel for this family, and all of the difficulties that they have gone through after the loss of their son/brother.

I did appreciate how the author is not the "typical" Persian who fled the Islamic Revolution (i.e. someone who benefited from the Shah's corruption,
Stephen Clynes
Apr 25, 2013 Stephen Clynes rated it really liked it
This story starts at the Rose Hotel in Mashhad, Iran in 1978 before the Islamic revolution. Rahimeh is 4 years old and the reader gets the picture of her understanding of life in Iran during the turmoil of the Islamic revolution of 1979. This is a family tale told in the same style as A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. The Rose Hotel is a colourful story of growing up in a Shi'a Muslim family. You see through Rahimeh's eyes as her family moves from Mashhad to Tehran. They later move to ...more
Ted Parkhurst
Feb 07, 2015 Ted Parkhurst rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spellbinding ... a memoir by a daughter of a troubled Iranian family that left Iran after the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the loss of her eldest brother. I couldn't put it down. The author first published the book in a fictionalized version to protect the privacy of family members, but her family convinced her to rewrite it as a nonfiction work. The narrative still reads like a good novel, well-paced, heartfelt, and poetic. Many compelling stories arise from the trauma of the collision ...more
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Rahimeh Andalibian was born in the city of Mashhad, Iran. When she was nine years old, in the wake of the Iranian Revolution and in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war, her family moved first to London, then immigrated to the United States in 1986. Rahimeh attained her Doctorate in Psychology at the age of 24 and since, has been a systemic psychologist practicing in California and now in New York City ...more
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