The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali
English | 2019 | Contemporary Fiction | ePUB |1.6 Mb
The Stationery Shop : From the award-winning author of Together Tea—a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and wise” by Jill Davis, bestselling author of Girls’ Poker Night—comes a powerful love story exploring loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.
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.
“I am good,” she said. She’d learned to say that from Americans: I’m good, I’m fine, it’s all okay, okey-dokey. Easy-peasy Americanisms. She knew how to do it. Her heart pounded, but she looked steadily at Claire.
Claire lowered her head and finally turned and walked out. The click-click of her heels as she left the room matched Roya’s extra-loud heartbeat.
She could still follow Claire and leave this smelly place, catch up to Walter before he finished his lunch, go home, climb into bed, and pretend never to have made this strange miscalculation. It wasn’t too late. She imagined Walter hunched over his ginger beer and lobster roll alone at that deli—poor thing. But no. She’d come here to finally find out.
One foot in front of the other, that was how you did it. She forced herself toward the wheelchair by the window. Her heels didn’t click; she had on her trusty gray thick-soled shoes. Walter had insisted that she wear snow boots, but she had refused. She was willing to accept a lot of things, but seeing her old lover for the first time in sixty years while wearing fat Eskimo boots was one of the few things she could not accept.
The man was oblivious to her presence, as if she didn’t exist.
“I’ve been waiting,” a voice suddenly said in Farsi, and Roya’s body buzzed. That voice had both energized and comforted her when they were inseparable.”