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Caspian Rain

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  526 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
From the best-selling author of Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith, a stirring, lyrical tale that offers American readers unique insight into the inner workings of Iranian society. In the decade before the Islamic Revolution, Iran is a country on the brink of explosion. Twelve-year-old Yaas is born into an already divided family: Her father is the son of wealthy Iranian Jews ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published September 25th 2009 by M P Publishing Ltd. (first published January 1st 2007)
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Abdi Nazemian
Aug 19, 2014 Abdi Nazemian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a writer of fiction about Iranian people, I am so thrilled to have discovered the work of Gina Nahai. She writes with tremendous depth and beautiful lyricism, plunging us with vivid detail into Jewish life in Iran, pre-revolution. This novel is anything if not ambitious. It flirts movingly with magical realism. It introduces new, unusual, and compelling secondary characters throughout. And at times, it even feels like a Joan Crawford movie (if you know me, you also know I mean this as the hig ...more
Feb 16, 2011 Fatima rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book because it is about a deaf child. When I first started reading the book, I assumed that a whole chunk would be about the struggles of the deaf child especially in Iran, but the book chose to talk about the affair the most. I feel there wasn’t much depth to the characters in the book, and the overarching theme of loss was very unrealistic. I felt that each character made its own deep hole and wanted to blame someone else. The young girl, named Yaaz wasn’t born deaf. Her mother ...more
Mar 19, 2009 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good God this book is bleak. Occasionally it picks up with some plot, and I'm captivated because I think, 'Maybe things are about to change for these poor characters,' but Ha Ha, joke's on me, things change but they only get worse.

Don't get me wrong, the writing is beautiful. I learned a bit about Iran, where the story is set. It's got some interesting perspectives on the nature of life, and experience, and loyalty, and family. So much fiction is called "luminous" these days -- especially debut
Tara Chevrestt
I am definetly the minority here, but I did not enjoy this book much at all. I was expecting a novel about a deaf girl growing up in revolitionary Iran and knowing first hand what it is like being deaf in America, of course I jumped for excitement upon finding this book. Readers looking for a "deaf culture" type story, do not be mislead. Only the very last quarter of the book addresses Yaas's hearing impairment. The entire first half is about her parents and their marital discord. She is not eve ...more
Gina B. Nahai finally seems to be finding an American audience for her work; perhaps our esteemed president's war on terrorism (or his seeming declaration of war on most of the rest of the world which doesn't appreciate his cowboy politics) has awakened us to what was a number of years ago "of little interest." Caspian Rain provides us with a portrait of Yaas's parents' rather unhappy marriage and her own upbringing within it.
Yaas's mother, Bahar, grew up with her seamstress-wannabe-mother; cant
Sep 24, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iran
An interesting book by a new author for me. Follows the life of a girl, Jewish and poor in Tehran during the last years of the Shah's regime. Her "perfect" marriage to a wealthy Jewish boy turns out to be anything but perfect. And their daughter, Yass, caught up in her parents' and their families conflicts, has anything but an easy or happy life. There is a lot in the story about class conflicts, religious differences, power and lack of power. Yaas' life becomes more difficult (for reasons that ...more
Dec 08, 2009 Jumana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. In this book there were mixed emotions. I was really angry at many thing and was happy at some. But the book is really good.
Nov 17, 2013 Amy800 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me this was an intriguing look at another culture, but it also shocked me a lot. I felt like my heart was bruised reading this...
I enjoyed the book, but I felt that I have read historical fiction and better novels set in Iran. While reading the book, some things just did feel authentic (or things were simplified, cultural attitudes, cultural beliefs and practices, etc.). When I learned that the author was born in Iran, but fled to the US with her family at the time of the revolution, the style of the book makes a little more sense. For example, any time Nahai writes about the Shah, it's always positive. She doesn't in any ...more
Dec 28, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the years before the Iranian Revolution, this novel tells the story of a young girl who struggles with her parents' failing marriage, and a mysterious illness. Although the prose is clear and relatively simple, the characters are well-drawn, and the author evokes the sense of the place and time. Although the novel has some hints of magical realism, the story is mostly realistic. The author does a good job of portraying the aspirations of Iranians from all walks of life during this tumultu ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Lorri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cultural mores and expectations are a central theme throughout the novel. Love and loss are predominate factors in Caspian Rain. Identity and failure are evoked within the pages. Women are expected to perform in specific manners, within a marriage, and within a family unit. Even the women married to wealthy husbands are expected to obey their husbands, and uphold strict appearances, so as not to embarrass the family or cause gossip within the social spectrum. Through all the wealth they have, th ...more
May 27, 2013 Lesley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have rarely read a sadder, or more beautifully told book. Yaas, the 10 year old narrator, relates the history of her parents' tragic marriage, then flashes forward to her own role in the network of disappointments, betrayals and reproaches that ensnare them all. Her parents are both Jews in mid 1970s Iran, but whereas Omid, her father is from a wealthy, near assimilated family; her mother Bahar is a "ghetto Jew" the kind "who give Jews a bad name". Attracted by Bahar's spirited optimism, and o ...more
This is the story of a Jewish-Iranian family's experiences in Iran in the years leading up to the Revolution. The story is told from the perspective of a young girl as she relates her mother's life story. It's not so much a religiously-charged book as I had initially expected, thinking it would be a Jews vs. Muslims tale. But religion does play a part in that it focuses on the large disparity between the rich and poor Jews in Iran during that era.

I really enjoyed the book for the most part, and
Jul 29, 2014 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel this story is about relationships and how to work together with obstacles. Yeah maybe in that time cultures shouldn't mix. Not even helping a deaf girl get along in life they couldn't do. To make a difference and be better than what's thrown at them.

I was drawn to the characters. They were so different but still the same. Wanting to please and wanting to run. Cultures might be different. But the story is all the same.
Bookmarks Magazine

Gina Nahai, who left Iran as an adolescent, offers a rare glimpse into one family's inner sanctum prior to Iran's Islamic Revolution. A tragic story told in memoir form, Caspian Rain reveals the limitations of their lives against the class struggles and conflict between tradition and modernism that defined pre-Revolution Iran. Engaging characters (particularly the 12-year-old Yaas), some beautiful writing (with a little magical realism thrown in, including the existence of Ghost Brother), and a

Jun 10, 2014 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just feel like other writers (see recommendations above) describe and elicit pre-revolutionary Iran so much more vividly. I was very excited to read this and had had it in my Amazon "wish list" for ages before I ordered it (saving up for a big order). Ultimately, though, I was left with a very dry, unsympathetic narrative. I did not connect whatsoever to the characters. Unfortunate.
Jul 30, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My wife picked this book off the shelf at the local library without knowing anything about it. As I read it I was drawn into the sorrowful lives of Bahar and Yaas to a degree I had not expected. I think that living overseas in a culture similar to that which she describes made me particularly sympathetic for the constraints and burdens that these women must live with, that so profoundly shape their lives. I have seen their fates reflected in the lives of other woman and my heart grieves for them ...more
Elsie Klumpner
Sep 09, 2014 Elsie Klumpner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a gem. Parallel stories of Iranian Jews, a mother and daughter, both dealing with loss of dreams and love. Extremely evocative and heart rending. Heavy material presented lightly. This author is fabulous. I will immediately look for more of her work.
Rena Searles
Jul 29, 2015 Rena Searles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to believe that a novel about so much tragedy and heartache could be so poetic and intensely beautiful! The story is of an Iranian family whose members are struggling with their harsh realities during the last years of the Shah's reign. A worthwhile read!
May 29, 2009 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just met the author at our Literacy fundraiser, wonderful personality, obviously intelligent, with a rich family history. Can't wait to get started!
(finished book) I enjoyed this book despite some lukewarm reviews out there on it. I found the imagery rich and writing descriptive and flowing. It is not a happy book - it is a book that overlays what is all too common (an unhappy marriage, childhood illness) onto the face of a changing country. Apparently there were some complaints from readers abo
Apr 05, 2015 Cátia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: empresto
“(…) quem disse que uma filha é a pior inimiga da mãe acertou em cheio” (pág. 155)

Livro com ambientes que me são distantes em que se junta tâmaras a chá e iogurte a pepino.

Traição, sonho ocidental, adultério e mães que projectam nos filhos os seus sonhos são alguns dos temas.
Mamoon Khan
Jul 28, 2014 Mamoon Khan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written- I would say. But the ending is pathetic. I was expecting Omid will come back to Bahar and they will live happily ever after............. but reality was more harsh than what I expected.
Victor H Fisher Jr
Well written and interested story of a dysfunctional family.

A dysfunctional family in Tehran before the Iranian Revolution. Told by a 12 year old girl that is looking her hearing. Well written Story I recommend for you to read.
Sarah Nurgat
A painful account of the experiences of a young deaf girl in pre-Revolution Iran - truly depressing, more so because it is probably an accurate reflection of reality.
Susan Chern
Aug 12, 2015 Susan Chern rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very sad story but a very worthwhile read. It is a commentary on how a country's culture can affect the outcome of a person's life.
Laurinda Paz
Jun 22, 2015 Laurinda Paz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um livro marcante. Uma escrita de uma sensibilidade extraordinária.
Retrato de uma sociedade marcada por uma cultura de exclusão.
Ann Newman
Jul 31, 2015 Ann Newman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyrical and haunting portrayal of the divide between hope and despair set in Tehran just before the fall of the Shah.
Samah Al-Atwani
Apr 25, 2015 Samah Al-Atwani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful and heartbreaking book !
If you like Khaled Hosseini's books, you will definitely like this one too.
Nov 11, 2014 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great storytelling from an Iranian Jewish girl point of view prior to the Shah's rise to power
Nov 17, 2013 Kelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All of the magic of a fairy tale without the happy ending. (But and ending that makes you say "wow" never the less.) Thought provoking.

some gems worth pondering:

There's such a thing as too much hope. It's like a black hole: you fall in, and there's no bottom. p259

What is a life, at the end but a story we leave behind? What if that story was never told? p256

They have a different burden-the weak, those who are subject to the will and whims of the strong? They have to choose between two bad optio
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Gina B. Nahai is a best-selling author, and a professor of Creative Writing at USC. Her novels have been translated into 18 languages, and have been selected as “One of the Best Books of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. They have been finalists for the Orange Award, the IMPAC Award, and the Harold J. Ribalow Award. She is the winner of the Los Angeles Arts Council Award, ...more
More about Gina B. Nahai...

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