In this episode of The Grown-Up Girls Report Book club, Alex discusses The Stationery Shop of Tehran with her lovely friend Edwina McKinnon – who is herself a Stationery Queen!
Let’s be honest – a book club is also about catching up with your favourite people! So, in an effort to find an excuse to see my lovely friend and Stationery Queen Edwina – Alex thought this book choice might just do the trick! And the fact that Edwina lived in Tehran as a child just confirmed the choice.
Edwina (and her husband) runs OzCorp Cards & Stationery – a wonderful Aussie family owned business based in Sydney. Not only do they sell unique greeting cards, fashion stationery and gift wrap but also diaries and designer doorstops! Eddy also has 3 beautiful children and a high maintenance but very cute puppy.
This book was a surprisingly joyful read. Main character Roya loves nothing better than to while away the hours in the local stationery shop run by Mr. Fakhri. The store, stocked with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of writing paper, also carries translations of literature from all over the world. And when Mr. Fakhri introduces her to his other favorite customer — handsome Bahman, with his burning passion for justice and a shared love for Rumi’s poetry — Roya loses her heart at once. But around them, life in Tehran is changing.
On the eve of their marriage, Roya heads to the town square to meet with Bahman. Suddenly, shockingly, violence erupts: a coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. Bahman never arrives. So, Roya must piece her life back together. Her parents, wanting her to be safe, enroll her in college in California, where she meets and marries another man. But, nearly sixty years later, an accident of fate finally brings her the answer she has always wanted to know – Why did you leave? Where did you go? How is it that you were able to forget me.
This book is about love, loss and commitment. It provided such a fascinating insight into Iranian culture and the history of the 1953 coup d’etat and the 1979 Iranian Revolution. While it is a love story, it is also very much about how life can suddenly takes turn so sudden and unexpected that who we are and what we hope to become is forever changed. It will also make you rethink the concept of a ‘soulmate’ and true love.
Both Alex and Edwina thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a holiday read.
There are no spoilers in this episode so listen in via your favourite podcast app or via the link below.