The Girl from the Garden: A Novel by Parnaz ForoutanThe Girl from the Garden: A Novel by Parnaz Foroutan

The Girl from the Garden: A Novel

byParnaz Foroutan

Paperback | August 18, 2015

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“A powerful and moving novel about the devastating choices women face when their worth is

tied to their wombs but not themselves. Parnaz Foroutan takes the timeless themes of love, honor, sacrifice, and betrayal and makes them new.”—Gloria Steinem

For all his wealth and success, Asher Malacouti—the head of a prosperous Jewish family living in the Iranian town of Kermanshah—cannot have the one thing he desires above all: a son. His young wife, Rakhel, trapped in an oppressive marriage at a time when a woman’s worth is measured by her fertility, is made desperate by her failure to conceive, and grows jealous and vindictive.

Her despair is compounded by the pregnancy of her sister-in-law, Khorsheed, and by her husband’s growing desire for Kokab, his cousin’s wife. Frustrated by his wife’s inability to bear him an heir, Asher makes a fateful choice that will shatter the household and drive Rakhel to dark extremes to save herself and preserve her status within the family.

Witnessed through the memories of the family’s only surviving daughter, Mahboubeh, now an elderly woman living in Los Angeles, The Girl from the Garden unfolds the complex, tragic history of her family in a long-lost Iran of generations past. Haunting, suspenseful, and inspired by events in the author’s own family, it is an evocative and poignant exploration of sacrifice, betrayal, and the indelible legacy of the families that forge us.

One of Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels of 2015

Parnaz Foroutan was born in Iran and spent her early childhood there. She received PEN USA's Emerging Voices fellowship for this novel, which was inspired by her own family history. She has been named to the Hedgebrook fellowship and residency, and received funding from the Elizabeth George Foundation, among other institutions. She cur...
Title:The Girl from the Garden: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.72 inPublished:August 18, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062442864

ISBN - 13:9780062442864


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Exquisite! This is a first novel for writer Parnaz Foroutan and she knocks it out of the park! A Jewish Iranian family's tragic history is told through the ancient eyes of Mahboubeh, the sole surviving daughter, who now lives in California. This is not a happy story but one that is fraught with such sadness, tragedy and loneliness that it leaves you aching at the end. The saving grace is the beautifully detailed writing. Parzaz paints a picture so clearly that you can almost smell and hear the goings on in the Malacouti family compound. Her writing, which is rich and her skill as a storyteller is what kept me turning page after page. I don't know why, but I had never considered what life must have been like for a Jewish family in early 20th century Iran. A haunting story that will stay with you long after you have finished it.
Date published: 2015-10-14

Editorial Reviews

“[R]emarkable not only for its rare, intimate glimpse of an Iranian Jewish family in the early 20th century, nor for its gorgeous sentences or profound treatment of longing, loss and memory, but for how it seduces and enthralls the reader.”