In the early 1920s, in the remote Persian village of Ghamsar, two young people dreaming of a better life fall in love and marry. Sardar brings his bride, Talla, with him across the mountains to the suburbs of Tehran, where the couple settles down and builds a home. From the outskirts of the capital city, they will watch as the Qajar dynasty falls and Reza Khan rises to power as Reza Shah Pahlavi.
Into this family of illiterate shepherds is born Bahram, a boy whose brilliance and intellectual promise are apparent from a very young age. As he grows older, Bahram will become a fervent follower of reformer Mohammad Mosaddegh and will participate firsthand in his country’s political and social upheavals, putting himself in mortal danger, in this prize-winning, “compelling book [that] raises important questions about indulgence, gender, community, and the impact of politics on everyday life” (Kirkus Reviews).