Moon at nine by Deborah Ellis
ARC: compliments of Pajama Press
: 273 pages; c2014
From the publisher:
“A riveting novel set in Iran, where sexual orientation can have deadly consequences.
Based on a true story”.
Genre: Realistic fiction
Grades : 8, 9 (intermediate)
It is the stark dramatic cover of Deborah Ellis’ latest book, that captured my attention.
Reading those three simple words, ‘Moon at nine’….seeing the hazel-coloured eyes staring through two strands of barbwire … for me, is a very powerful image. Resisting the urge to flip the book over, I tried to figure out what this story would be about. My musings were not even near to what Ellis had written.
This story is far from being atypical….it is about a fifteen year old Iranian teen named Farrin, who is the daughter of a wealthy family in 1980’s Tehran, set during the Iran and Iraq war known as the ‘Gulf War’.
We see the story of Farrin’s privileged life, unfold through her eyes. Farrin is dissatisfied — almost bored, with her life, attending an all girls school, while evading daily bombings, and becomes less tolerant with her relationship with her mother.
Her facade of discontent comes to a screeching halt with the arrival of a new student Sadira. Sadira’s outgoing, gentle nature (personality) touches something within Farrin. The two girls connect on a level that has Farrin questioning just who she is. The pull of Sadira’s steadfastness and compassionate caring personality is something that Farrin cannot resist and they are drawn to each other — like moths to a flame. Though they try to suppress this feeling, but to no avail, Farrin and Sadira find that their friendship evolves into a relationship that can only lead to an outcome that neither girl would anticipate.
Freedom … a word that is often taken for granted … and the author has given us a glimpse into a world that reads like a part of history, yet it is still a part of the present … for many young women throughout the world.
This is a story, that I am glad, author, Deborah Ellis had the courage to tell, as it was, for the woman who had the courage to tell it.
Great classroom discussions and highly recommended!!