“... her unvarnished courage, her intrepid wisdom, her fight to save her integrity and her family... Written with the deft hands of a novelist, it is the portrait of a world only too real, where women’s lives are cheap -- but not this one.”

Jacquelyn Mitchard
Author of The Deep End of the Ocean

The heart-breaking story of the price a sixteen-year-old Iranian girl was forced to pay for her freedom and her life

On January 15, 1982 Marina Nemat was arrested and sentenced to death for political crimes. It was a deadly time in Ayatollah Khomeini’s new regime, when her mildly critical article of the state in her high school newspaper put her on a watch list. Her fate was sealed when she complained that the teacher of calculus was substituting “government propaganda” for math.

Marina was seized from her family’s apartment in Tehran and taken to Evin prison. In a bizarre twist, one of the Revolutionary Guards, Ali, fell in love with her. Using his family connections, he plucked her from the firing squad with only minutes to spare.

In return, he demanded that she convert from Catholicism to Islam and marry him. If she didn’t, he said, with the dizzying combination of terror and tenderness that would characterize their relationship for the next two years, he would ensure that her family was harmed. After Ali was gunned down by rival factions and died in her arms, Marina was eventually released.

For years, Marina Nemat, a waitress at a suburban Toronto restaurant, the wife of an electrical engineer, and mother of two sons, kept her secret until the silence became too burdensome. This important and enthralling book is destined to become a major international literary event.

The Free Press U.S.A. 2007
John Murray UK 2007
Penguin Canada 2007
Artemis Netherlands 2007
Weltbild Germany 2007
Cairo Italy 2007
Quidnovi Portugal 2007
Espasa Calpe/Planeta Spain 2007
Forum Sweden 2007
TV2Forlag Danish 2008
Psichogios Greece 2007

Kinneret Israel 2007

Wisdom Korea 2007

Concept Marathi 2007
Jota Czech 2007

Planeta Brazil 2007

Trivium Kiado Hungary 2007

BWP Complex Chinese 2008

Pustaka Alvabet, Indonesia 2008
Tiger Aspect Production Ltd. Film


Marina Nemat was born  in Tehran and grew up during the Iranian revolution. She now lives in Canada with her husband and their two sons.