Lynnette's Reviews > Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir

Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat
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Jul 24, 2010

really liked it

I don't normally read a lot of autobiographies, but I picked this up because the description on the jacket just sounded so interesting. This is the story of Marina, who, as a teenage girl in Iran was arrested and imprisoned without just cause, suffering torture and facing death. She is saved from the firing squad by one of the prison guards who has taken an interest in her. She is forced to marry him to save her life. It is ironically his family that in the end is able to restore her to her former life, where she must deal with the consequences of the changes brought about by her experiences.

This is a very well written book. It was at times hard to remember that this was based on actual events and not a work of fiction. I had to remember to pause every so often to really try to place myself in her shoes and digest the experiences she described.

We are so very lucky in our North American culture. We will never have to experience the horrors that are faced daily by people in other countries. We have rights, we have choices, we have resources. We are lucky in a way that we fail to recognize the majority of the time.

I place myself in Marina's shoes and I doubt that my posh little North American upbringing has made me into the strong, stoic person that I found in the pages of this book. If adversity breeds strength and character, I think we may be in trouble as a society, because we've forgotten what real adversity looks like.

There are several more grossly horrific stories in the world than what was found in this book, however this was enough to make me think of the world outside my insulated bubble in a deeper way, by being able to relate to character.

I highly recommend reading this book. Even if you don't want to get too deep into the experience, it is still a fascinating story.
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