ARC reviewed by Miranda K.
Caprichos Books gave me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of “To Keep the Sun Alive,” By Rabeah Ghaffari. This book takes place on the eve of the Iranian Revolution and is based around a large family who are evaluating their place within the ever changing society in which they live. When Shazdehpoor, the family patriarch, reminisces about a time 30 years prior each of these character’s differences plays out.
Out of this large family there are two brothers, Madjid and Jamsheed, who are the son’s of Shazdehpoor and reject everything that he believes in. These two brothers grew up having strong opinions for themselves which lead them to good and bad choices. Madjid is a beginning university student who is looking to use his education to help his country in the future. Jamsheed is the brother who is absent from the family most of the time due to his opium addiction. When a fight breaks out in the street between two men, one of them ends up dead. These two brothers end up coming together by taking the side of the man who killed his foe. The fight within the town streets creates a rift within the community. This sets off the political groups and they are torn between which side to choose. Throughout all of this, there is a beautiful love story happening between Nasreen and Madjid.
Nasreen and Madjid’s love story plays out over time. From the first time they saw each other, to their secret love meetings, it shows just how intense their love is for each other. This love affair is rejected by Shazdehpoor and is one of the many things that pairs the family against each other. All this is going on as the revolution begins, which brings a divided family tragic results.
In Ghaffari’s debut novel, it shows the choices of people of power and how these decisions shape one’s character and the effects it has on those around them. I really enjoyed this book but for me it took a little while to get thru with its heavy storyline and making sure I was following each characters story. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction or just wants to try a new genre!