A wonderful novel, which successfully weaves together the secrets of a divided aristocratic family with tales of the Simorgh - the magical bird of knowledge - against the backdrop of the Iranian revolution. All is seen through the eyes of 17-year-old Talkhoon, captive in more ways than one, and with only the sinister and obsessive Assad to care for her. With a heroine you can’t help but root for, I found this book hard to put down.
Behind the kitchen window, Daaye bent to lift a heavy pot. Assad turned the lights on and in the darkest moment of dusk, the house’s presence gripped my throat. Jump! the winds commanded. The city lights turned dim, the garden sank in darkness, and the winds prodded me. With a vague memory of Taara and myself as small girls wading in the pool, flat torsos naked, I held up my arms like a diver and, head first, I dived towards the ground.