The Book of Fate – Parinoush Saniee


The Book of Fate is novel that shows special insight into the Iranian culture and politics from a young teenage girl’s and it tells of all the political and social changes that occurred in the five decades that spans this story.

The Book of Fate tells the story of an Iranian teenager in the pre-evolutionary Tehran. Massoumeh is an ordinary girl, passionate about her education and very aware of  customs and traditions, so as not to bring any dishonour to her family. Like any teenage girl she falls in love, but before it could develop into something serious her parents find out about it. They misunderstand the pureness of the relationship and think she has thrown herself at this young man, which leads to them   putting  end to the relationship by marrying her off to a stranger. From here The Book of Fate tells the story of the rest of her life following this betrayal from her family.

It is a well written piece of fiction with absolute insight in the Iranian culture and life written by Parinoush Saniee who is a sociologist and psychologist and has worked for the Iranian government in the ministry of labour. She has written several novels of which The Book of Fate is the first followed by The Father of the Other One, but these two have only recently been approved by the censorship board in Iran to be published. It was a banned novel for quite a while and she still  has a couple of other novels that are still awaiting approval to be published.

I really enjoyed reading this story and couldn’t wait to get to the end to see if Massoumeh ever get’s to a point in her life where she makes a decision for herself and her own happiness instead of those around her. It is a beautiful story with characters that creep into your heart, it tells of romance, family and suspense. I tells of the Iranian history and politics, but with a more sheltered viewpoint. It’s very cleverly told so as not to cause concern for the censorship board, but still getting the message across with regards to what life was like.

If you are wanting to read a book about the Iranian culture and politics that really get’s in there and reveals the deep dark truths, you might want to rather read something along the lines of “The Kite Runner”, “A thousand Splendid Sons” or “Not without my daughter”. However if you are looking for a book to enlighten you about that society, but that’s not too harsh and shares a beautiful story, then you should definitely get your hands on The Book of Fate!