Sunday, March 15, 2009

The House of Sand and Fog

I just finished this book last night. It's a heartbreaking story for everyone involved, and the ending shows no mercy for any of the characters.
The way the author wrote the Iranian colonel and his wife's way of speaking English(as a second language) was amazing. He must have had to do a lot of research on how difficult it is to learn English to make it so believable.
I'll never look at an immigrant 7-11 worker in the same way either... the colonel was a high level, well paid Iranian army colonel before the fall of Iran, and upon coming to America he had to take menial jobs to support his family, yet still carry on the facade to his friends and family that he was doing an important job and keeping up the lifestyle that they could be proud of. That was why he was hanging on so tightly to the house (that he had bought from the county on auction), so he could free himself from the shame. Kathy Nicolo wanted to hang onto her house (that she had lost because of a beaurocratic snafu) for much the same reason. She was living a lie that she was still married, happy and not abusing drugs or alcohol. She was desperate to get her house back so she wouldn't have to admit to her family that she had screwed up again.
Read this book. It was moving, sad and hard to read, but I loved every minute of it.

Oh yeah, I saw the movie a few years ago. Sad and depressing as well... but I liked the book better. Way more depth in the characters, especially Lester Burdon, the police officer who left his wife for Kathy)

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