Brought up as a Christian, Marina Nemat’s peaceful childhood in Tehran was shattered when the Iranian Revolution of 1979 ushered in a new era of Islamic rule. After complaining to her teachers about her Maths lessons being replaced by Koran study, Marina was arrested late one evening. She was taken to the notorious prison, Evin, where interrogation and torture were part of the daily routine. Aged sixteen, she was sentenced to death. Her prison guard snatched her from the firing squad bullets but exacted a shocking price in return: marriage to him and conversion to Islam. Marina lived out her prison days as his secret bride, spending nights with him in a separate cell. Marina struggled to reconcile her hatred towards Ali and her feelings of physical repulsion with the fact that he had saved her life.
When Ali was murdered by his enemies from Evin and saved Marina’s life for the second time, her feelings were complicated even further. At last, she was able to return home, to her family and her past life, but silence surrounded her time as a political prisoner and the regime kept her under constant surveillance. Marina’s world had been changed forever and she questions whether she will ever escape Iran and its regime or be free of her memories of Evin. via Google Books
Three Reasons Why I’d Recommend This Book:
- Recounts the history and experience of someone who lived during the early days of the Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
- The vivid descriptions of her experience during her time as a Prisoner, her walk out and “unintentional“ stint as a martyr at 16. I felt as if I was in that cell (the silence and the physical torture and mental abuse) with her or when she “left” to marry Ali the guard who fell in love with her and she tried to escape “physically and mentally.” *if you read the book, please let me know if you felt she fell in love with Ali or not* because sometimes it felt like she did but the hatred trumped everything.
- It’s an interesting take on the Islamic Revolution and seeing how the majority of individuals who “entered” Evin perished it’s interesting to hear from someone who survived.
Who’d I’d Recommend:
Individuals interested in memoirs, stories from the Middle East or the Iranian Revolution. Individuals who love “overcoming traumatic experiences” stories and anyone ready to venture into the nonfiction world.
Though there are some unreal moments and the writing was sometimes off-putting in my opinion, because she sometimes wrote in the third person or her views felt as she was recounting someone else experiences. I’d recommend Prisoner of Tehran, because of its courageous message, vivid descriptions, has an emphatic undertone, and the author’s ability to make the audience feel as if they’re on this survivor’s journey/road/experience with Marina was something that made this book enjoyable.