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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Love story

What do you think of Parviz having a love story in the middle of his ordeal, while he is so alienated and anxious about his family? Did you hope for a romantic resolution? How do his feelings for Rachel and her family relate to his feelings about his own religion(or do they)?
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IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Love story

I found the tender story of Parviz and Rachel very moving on many levels. He had neither family, friends nor community to comfort him. His attraction to her made perfect sense. Not only was she attractive, but more importantly, she symbolized all that he sorely missed.

Rachel and her family stood in vivid contrast to the family that he longed for.

Rachel's family was not wealthy, but they treasured what they had. Her father is content with his current life, and his love for his family is obvious. Their identities as Orthodox Jews give their lives special meaning. They live in a country where the practice of their faith is tolerated. They practice their faith in peace without fear of governmental reprisal. Their religious activies binds them to the world and anchored them.
In other words, the world is not passing them by.

Rachel and her family are catalysts to Parviz's education. Not just his academic education, but his emotional one as well. Their lifestyles evoke responses from him that he never had to address in his upbringing. He is exposed to the inner workings of a faith that he had never witnessed before. He is beginning to ask serious life-changing questions about himself. At the crossroads of his life, he will have to find answers to many questions he has begun to ask himself.

However this lovestory will end depends very much on Parviz himself. He has a very long road to travel for any serious love to blossom between himself and Rachel. And between himself and his Jewishness.
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Love story - SPOILERS

The interactions between Parviz and Rachel were some of my favorite parts of the book.

I agree with IBIS that Rachel's family had the characteristics Parviz was longing for in his own family. The contrast between the Mendelson's family and his own fueled Parviz's loneliness.

I was not surprised that Parviz found himself attracted to Rachel. Not only was he looking for comfort, but she was the "forbidden fruit."

To me, their relationship symbolized hope --- hope that in the future, all people might be able to live together peacefully.

While I did hope for a romantic resolution, I knew that one was not feasible, at least at the time of the story, and, realistically, probably never. That is OK though because I think that Parviz's relationship with Rachel will shape him for the rest of his life.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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