Tag: Ballantine Books

New Release: SONG OF A CAPTIVE BIRD by Jasmin Darznik

9780399182310SONG OF A CAPTIVE BIRD by Jasmin Darznik / Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction / Released Feb 13, 2018 by Ballantine Books

A spellbinding debut novel about the trailblazing Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, who defied society’s expectations to find her voice and her destiny
“Remember the flight, for the bird is mortal.”

All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest. She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel—gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother’s walled garden, venturing to the forbidden rooftop to roughhouse with her three brothers, writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father, and sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glacé. During the summer of 1950, Forugh’s passion for poetry takes flight—and tradition seeks to clip her wings.

Forced into a suffocating marriage, Forugh runs away and falls into an affair that fuels her desire to write and to achieve freedom and independence. Forugh’s poems are considered both scandalous and brilliant; she is heralded by some as a national treasure, vilified by others as a demon influenced by the West. She perseveres, finding love with a notorious filmmaker and living by her own rules—at enormous cost. But the power of her writing only grows stronger amid the upheaval of the Iranian revolution.

Inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad’s verse, letters, films, and interviews—and including original translations of her poems—this haunting novel uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and conflicting desires of a brave woman who represents the birth of feminism in Iran—and who continues to inspire generations of women around the world.

Review: THE GUEST COTTAGE by Nancy Thayer

The Guest CottageThe Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer

Ballantine Books (May 12, 2015) Contemporary Romance

If you’re looking for a good beach read, go no further. Nancy Thayer’s The Guest Cottage is a perfect choice for readers who enjoy a second chance love story.

Through a booking error, Sophie Anderson and Trevor Black both rent the same guesthouse in Nantucket for the summer. Trevor, a single parent with a traumatized four-year-old, hopes to spend the summer helping his son come to terms with his mother’s death; Sophie, a soon-to-be-divorced mother of two children, hopes to have a quiet vacation with her kids before they are told about the divorce.

Neither Trevor nor Sophie want to give up the rental, so they agree to share the large house, divide up the chores, and make the best of it.

Thayer masterfully intersperses backstory. The details of Sophie’s childhood are integral to her transformation from a woman who caters to her husband to a confident woman with a plan. Trevor’s backstory helps the reader understand his first marriage and why his son is so traumatized.

The Guest Cottage is a story of trying to keep it together for the sake of your children while trying to define who you are and who you could be. It’s about second chances and transformations and new beginnings. And it’s about struggling to be the best parent you can be.

This review was provided by Jackie McMurray for her column Jackie’s Jargon in the July 2015 issue of The Book Breeze.

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