Book Review of
The Stationery Shop
Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper.
When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.
A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again.
Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?
The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.
The Stationery Shop has gotten a lot of attention since it came out, and after reading it, I can see why. I often skip books that get a ton of attention. I am not one to read a book just because everyone is reading it. And although I love the cover on this book, I also don’t usually choose a book based on a cover.
I prefer to make sure the book isn’t just getting pushed by publishers, but that it is truly good enough to stand the test of time. But when I read a review of The Stationery Shop by a book reviewer that I trust, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. I loved this book.
It is a book about lost love, but also about so much more. It was written about a time and place I know very little about. The descriptions and character development were so well done. It is about, love, lost love, love of family, love of your country, and so much more.
It is early in the year, but The Stationery Shop might just make my list of favorites for the year.