I recently got a chance to read a review copy of Through the Sad Wood Our Corpses will Hang by Ava Farmehri.
So what’s this book about anyway? A Synopsis –
At the age of 20, Sheyda Porrouya’s life is almost over. She was born in Iran on the day staunchly orthodox mullas declared the birth of the Islamic Republic and set about summarily purging the country of all things Western and un-Islamic. To make matters worse, as she matured, Sheyda seemed increasingly unable to distinguish between fairy tale and reality. She began to exhibit disturbing behaviour. When Sheyda is accused of killing her mother, she is immediately jailed and sentenced to death by hanging. The narrative jumps back and forth from Sheyda’s childhood to her current life in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons, where she awaits either release or execution.
But I’ve never heard of this author….
I’ve been trying to make an effort to read more diverse authors, which is one of the things that led me to Through the Sad Wood.
So how was it?
The book took me a while to get through. It’s one of those novels that is so beautifully written that you need to go back and re-read sections. The book actually reminded me a lot of Kazuo Ishiguro‘s The Buried Giant, in that you are never quite sure what is going on and you can’t trust the narrator, Sheyda. Another great thing about this novel is that it reads lyrically, like Anthony Doerr‘s All the Light We Cannot See.
The room vibrated with fatigue, the fatigue of this life, the fatigue of always wanting. It swelled with longing, for answers, for divine ears and for a truth to be out there somewhere.
Through the Sad Wood Our Corpses Will Hang will make you uncomfortable. It will challenge you as a reader. And I can’t think of a better recommendation that I could give a book.
Where can I get my copy?
Though this book was only recently published, it is already out of stock many places. However it does look like Amazon has a few print copies in stock, and it is always available as a Kindle edition.