Scent of But­ter­flies: A Nov­el of Betrayal

  • Review
By – January 15, 2014

This book delves into friend­ship, devo­tion, love, betray­al, and revenge from the point of view of Soraya, an Iran­ian Jew­ish woman who flees to Los Ange­les. She is deeply in love with her hus­band, Aziz, and secret­ly wit­nessed him in bed with her best friend, Par­vaneh, who is mar­ried to Aziz’s best friend, Hamid. Soraya runs off with­out con­fronting them, imag­in­ing that there is a con­tin­u­ing sex­u­al rela­tion­ship between the two adul­ter­ers. They live in reli­gious­ly restric­tive mul­lah-run Iran, which has recent­ly changed dra­mat­i­cal­ly from the years of reli­gious free­dom dur­ing the time of the Shah. Iran­ian women are expect­ed to go along with their hus­bands’ infi­deli­ties, but Soraya will not. She has a close rela­tion­ship with her father, Baba, and a more con­flic­tive one with Madar, her moth­er, who sus­pect­ed Baba of an extra­mar­i­tal affair. Her grand­moth­er, Mam­abo­zorg, has giv­en Soraya finan­cial and emo­tion­al sup­port. Much of the sto­ry revolves around Soraya’s dra­mat­ic reflec­tions about the past and present, super­sti­tions, and plot­ting her revenge. Mean­while, Soraya holds her own dev­as­tat­ing secret from her beloved Aziz. Com­pelling and a bit Goth­ic in atmos­phere, this nov­el is dot­ted with Iran­ian phras­es and details about life there, leav­ing the read­er with much to ponder.

Relat­ed Content:

Miri­am Brad­man Abra­hams, mom, grand­mom, avid read­er, some­time writer, born in Havana, raised in Brook­lyn, resid­ing in Long Beach on Long Island. Long­time for­mer One Region One Book chair and JBC liai­son for Nas­sau Hadas­sah, cur­rent­ly pre­sent­ing Inci­dent at San Miguel with author AJ Sidran­sky who wrote the his­tor­i­cal fic­tion based on her Cuban Jew­ish refugee family’s expe­ri­ences dur­ing the rev­o­lu­tion. Flu­ent in Span­ish and Hebrew, cer­ti­fied hatha yoga instructor.

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