The Book – Cemetery of Dreams
In the wake of the Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis, Arman Pakran wants only to avoid his country’s political turmoil and focus on his own problems. His father, a former general under the Shah, is in the hospital after a heart attack. His American fiancee, Julia, the daughter of one of the hostages, is in hiding in his home and is growing increasingly distraught as the crisis stretches on. And his own situation – formal naval officer under the Shah, American educated, a child of privilege – puts him at risk from the increasingly fanatical Islamic militants who have taken over his beloved homeland.
His hopes to remain uninvolved are dashed after a midnight visit from Zia Mohseni, a former agent in the Shah’s secret police. Using his ill-father as leverage, Zia blackmails Arman into joining a CIA-supported coup against the new regime. Arman, not entirely unwilling to fight the repression of the new government, agrees. His first step is to turn Julia over to Melody Zandi, an old flame, for safekeeping, then to begin recruiting among the former military officers who have also lost faith in the promise of the revolution. He quickly gathers a group of willing rebels, but when an informer passes on hints of the planned coup to the revolutionary guard, he has to race, with the help of the courageous and resourceful Melody, to get himself and his loved ones out of Iran before the guard can track them down. Through it all, Arman must find the courage to commit to his truest loves, both for his country and for Melody.
Set against a finely-detailed historical and cultural backdrop Cemetery of Dreams is both an exciting thriller – giving what may be the true story of the failed hostage rescue attempt – and an insider’s look at the social currents that fractured Iranian society in the wake of the revolution. Through parallel storylines, it shows lower-class Iranians who used the revolution for revenge against the upper classes, honest patriots who joined the revolution to end the Shah’s tyranny, and the opportunists who were willing to turn any political upheaval to their advantage.
“The story was suspenseful, intriguing, and kept me up late last night to finish it. Once I had all the characters straight, I worried for them, hated some of them (there is some real cruelty in this book), and felt absolutely awful for others. There are people who sacrifice everything to do what’s right and there are characters who you hope die so that their heinous crimes will end. The author really gave a great sense of what it was like for people on both sides of the revolution–the danger, the fear, and the risks. But, she also made sure that the readers sees that life goes on with love, lust, and moments of laughter in amongst the scary stuff.” Helen’s Book Blog
“The book is complex, as were the events, but the characters are compelling individuals rather than stereotypes. We see the events of that year from the point of view of Iranians and what was going on in Iran. This inside view makes clear the political differences within Iran in a way that was new to me. Along the way we are introduced to the wide variety of cultures and society within Iran.” A Traveler’s Library
“…The author did a great job conveying the story to all readers, not just readers who enjoy the subject at hand. A sensitive topic, war, but one that is real in our society, and one that shouldn’t be ignored…. I also liked the touch of romance in this book. It was the sweet spot of it all. A definite must read for any adult.” Freda’s Voice
“Finished reading Cemetery of Dreams yesterday evening. I haven’t read a book so quickly in ages. I couldn’t put it down – very exciting, great characters, gripping story and excellently written. Also another chilling reminder of the human ability to be unbelievably cruel in the name of nationalism, religion or just for the sake of it.” Andy, an Amazon reviewer