Aria – Nazanine Hozar

2.5/5 Stars
Reviewed by: Annie
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published by: Knopf Canada, June 11th 2019
Pages: 456

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When she was a mere few days old, Aria’s mother abandoned her in an alley in Tehran, Iran. Aria is the story of the orphaned girl growing up amidst the revolutionary struggle for power in Iran in the 1950’s. The book is split into four parts, each based on the four mother roles in the book.

It is difficult to give this book a fair rating because although I did my research as I read along, I still do not have a full grasp on what took place in the novel. Owing in large part to my own ignorance on the Iranian revolution as well as my lack of knowledge on the topography and culture in general in the middle east, I found Aria difficult to follow and constantly had to stop to look things up.

If you do pick this one up, I strongly recommend you do not read it before bed. Aria is a realistic depiction of the unrest, the violence and the crudeness that took place in Iran during the revolution, so be prepared for graphic descriptions and heartbreaking outcomes for a lot of the characters.

I am disappointed to say that I fear I missed most of the poetic beauty in the book for struggling to read more than a few chapters at a time. It didn’t flow well for me. The last part of the story in my opinion was the best, and unfortunately the shortest. Where the others dragged on with seemingly monotonous details, the final part was jammed with realizations and explanations. I can certainly appreciate why so many have already fallen in love with Aria, but it wasn’t my taste. I am a sucker for a silver lining and struggled to find one here.

*I’d like to give this one three stars since the ending wrapped things up nicely, but had I not been given this book for a review I likely would not have finished it.

Thank you to Penguin Random House of Canada for this Review Copy!


Reviewed by: Annie

Aria