Beautiful prose, sprinkles of poetry, bookworm characters, a heartwarming love story, what else? The Stationery shop is one of those stories that make you believe finishing a wonderful book can make your day.
The story is set in 1950s Iran, amidst the political uprisings and the seemingly tense atmosphere of Tehran. Roya, the dreamy and idealistic main character, finds her peace at the local stationary shop where she is surrounded by books of all kinds and most importantly, given the precious advice of the owner on poetry and literary masterpieces. As she was reading a book in one of the shop’s cozy corners, the handsome Bahman enters the shop and instantly grabs her attention when he starts talking to the owner M. Fakhri about his love for Rumi.
Little by little, her visits to the shop turned into a gripping adventure of heartwarming literary talks with Bahman in what became a particularly touching and endearing love story. Only their love was not given the time and place it needed to flourish: political circumstances and family pride stepped in their way right when they envisioned a lifetime of togetherness. What seemed to Roya to be a resolvable hurdle rapidly turned into years of lost contact, different lives defied by time and distance that left her confused with endless questions: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?
The truth can never be hidden forever and when Roya discovers the answers to her questions when she turns seventy, she starts questioning everything she thought she had grasped about her life.
I truly enjoyed this story both in terms of the author’s beautiful writing style and the soul-stirring plot full of literary and poetic references. I read this book in three days and when I turned the last page, I couldn’t help wish for it to never end…
I had never heard about the author but I aspire to read more of her works since the stationery shop was so beautiful!