Definitely a top contender for most enlightening book I’ve read all year, and one that I would recommend to any lover of literature. With that being said, I can see how this story isn’t for everyone; I lucked out by having just studied Iran-US relations in my history course this past semester, and that background information helps sort through the political turmoil that is woven throughout the book. I also can’t imagine enjoying the book discussions having not read the main material before (there are spoilers!), so before you pick this one up, it’s a good idea to try Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Daisy Miller, and Pride and Prejudice. Then, when you’re adequately prepared, ready yourself to be mesmerized by the magic and poetry of Dr. Nafisi and the seven beautiful young women she grows with during some of the toughest years in Iranian history. It’s incredible to read about the stories of these brilliant girls set in a country we in the United States know so little about, but it makes the culture that much more real – that they love ice cream and red nail polish, that they too question the existence of love and how to decide whom one should marry, and most importantly that they are so much more than any stereotype could ever convey.