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One star-studded night, five-year-old Lili witnesses her mother, Roxanna the Angel, sprout wings and vanish into the sky, undisturbed by the rules of gravity. Roxanna leaves no farewell, no word of explanation, no trace of her existence. Lili's subsequent search for her mother-spurred by the tireless efforts of her aunt Miriam the Moon-is at the heart of this mesmerizing epic tale that follows Roxanna, born as a bad-luck child in the harsh Jewish ghetto of Tehran, through the opulent world of Iran's aristocracy, to the whorehouses of Turkey and beyond, to present-day Los Angeles. At stake are Roxanna's hopes for happiness, for escaping the bonds of Old World tradition and finding forgiveness for that most egregious of sins-desire. Weaving together strands of Persian and Jewish culture, Gina Nahai brings to life a courageous circle of women rooted in their homeland but reshaping their lives in America, the land of chances and choices.
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The first voice we hear in Gina B. Nahai's second novel is that of Lili, the grown daughter of a miraculous mother. When Lili was 5 and living in the Jewish ghetto of Tehran, her mother, Roxanna, "had grown wings, one night when the darkness was the color of her dreams, and flown into the star-studded night of Iran that claimed her." Thirteen years would pass, Lili informs us, before she would find her mother again. This short introduction serves as a framing device for the story of Roxanna's life, a life begun as a "bad-luck" child. According to her sister, Miriam the Moon, she "had been a runaway before she ever became a wife or a mother, before she came into existence or was even conceived."
There is an unwritten rule that any book featuring such character names as Roxanna the Angel, Miriam the Moon, and Alexandra the Cat must also contain a great deal of magical realism; Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith lives up to expectations. In addition to Roxanna's winged departure from her home and family, there are episodes involving illuminated sunflowers, dreams of flight that result in beds of white feathers, and Roxanna's final illness, a "mysterious fluid that ... started to fill her body like a poisonous presence, that oozed out of the corner of her eyes, swelled her arms and legs till she had no more use of them and turned her once-magical voice into a gurgling whisper." Besides the miraculous, this novel has undeniable sweep, beginning in Tehran, touching down in Turkey, and ending up in Los Angeles many years later with hair-raising adventures punctuating each change of address. Gina B. Nahai has crafted a lyrical novel reminiscent of the work of Isabelle Allende. Readers with a taste for the fantastic will enjoy this tale. --Alix WilberFrom the Back Cover:
When she is five years old, Lili, the narrator of this epic and magical tale, watches her mother, Roxanna the Angel, throw herself off the balcony of their house on the Avenue of Faith. Roxanna has left no farewell, no explanation. Her family's subsequent search for her reveals no body, no sign of a fall, no trace of an escape. The only witness to Roxanna's disappearance, Lili will spend the next thirteen years looking for her mother, wondering if she is alive, wondering why she left.
This is the remarkable tale that follows Roxanna, born as a "bad-luck child" in the Jewish ghetto of Tehran, through the opulent world of Iran's aristocracy, into the whorehouses of Turkey and at last, to Los Angeles -- the city of exiles -- where she and Lili are reunited. Gina B. Nahai tells the story of a courageous circle of women standing on the edge of the past, reshaping their lives in America, the land of chances and choices.
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0151003882 First edition. Signed. New book. Seller Inventory # A8-721
Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0151003882
Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0151003882
Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110151003882