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The Last Days of Cafe Leila

The Last Days of Cafe Leila

Book Review - The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

Reading The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

Reading The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

When I read the description of this book, I thought it would be one I'd love, like really love...one of those books that you recommend to people for years to come. I think it could have been one of those books but I chose to listen to it via Audible and the narrator just wasn't doing it for me. I think there may have been some weird editing issues, I'm not convinced that it was the performer herself. There were pauses in odd places and it lacked flow (almost as if the performer hadn't read the book ahead of time?) When I thought just about the words being spoken, it is clear the author is a gifted writer. I think anyone who reads the actual book will absolutely love this story. But I just couldn't get into it - the performance was just too jarring.

Reading The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

Reading The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

This is the description I read that hooked me:

Set against the backdrop of Iran’s rich, turbulent history, this exquisite debut novel is a powerful story of food, family, and a bittersweet homecoming. When we first meet Noor, she is living in San Francisco, missing her beloved father, Zod, in Iran. Now, dragging her stubborn teenage daughter, Lily, with her, she returns to Tehran and to Café Leila, the restaurant her family has been running for three generations. Iran may have changed, but Café Leila, still run by Zod, has stayed blessedly the same—it is a refuge of laughter and solace for its makeshift family of staff and regulars.

As Noor revisits her Persian childhood, she must rethink who she is—a mother, a daughter, a woman estranged from her marriage and from her life in California. And together, she and Lily get swept up in the beauty and brutality of Tehran.

Bijan’s vivid, layered story, at once tender and elegant, funny and sad, weaves together the complexities of history, domesticity, and loyalty and, best of all, transports readers to another culture, another time, and another emotional landscape.
— From the publisher
Reading The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

Reading The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

I'm really bummed I chose to listen to this one on Audible, I always know it is a risk when I listen to a book instead of reading it. Of course my first choice is always to read the book, but when I spend 8 hours a week on the road, the best way to pass time is to listen to a book. So if you're reading this and wondering whether it is worth your time to pick this one up, I think it is. If you've read this book and have great feedback, let me know! I did love the story, the characters were intriguing, and the description of the Iranian food and culture was absolutely beautiful. Maybe I'll come back to this one later and give it another go.

Reading The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

Reading The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan

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The After Party

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