Official Review: Cry For Rain by Melineh Petrosian

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stacie k
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Official Review: Cry For Rain by Melineh Petrosian

Post by stacie k » 03 Oct 2018, 19:11

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Cry For Rain" by Melineh Petrosian.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Cry for Rain by Melineh Petrosian is a deeply moving memoir, the true story of the author’s life as she grew up as a minority in an Armenian Christian family in the tumultuous environment of Iran from the late 60’s through early 80’s. The political and religious upheaval of the country mirrored the state of protagonist Ariana’s home where she and her siblings suffered abuse at the hands of their mentally unstable mother. They lived in a perpetual state of fear of Mom’s next rampage. Her unpredictable anger stole their childhoods, leaving them no safe place to find shelter. The unrest at home was as disturbing as the turmoil of the country. How can a young girl escape, or even survive, such adversity and hardship?

My least favorite part of this book was the fact that it is a true story. Honestly, it was hard to read about the cruelty Ariana faced not only at home but also at school and even by the doctor! She faced fear of kidnappings and bombings on the outside and beatings while at home. She had brief respites from the fear when Papa was home, but most of the time he was away trying to earn money for the family to survive. Ariana suffered much loss—friends, family members, and dreams. I was angry that Papa was aware of the vicious behavior of his wife yet took no action to protect his children. Whether he felt powerless to change the situation or prideful to avoid disgrace, there is no excuse.

Thankfully, there are many reasons to give praise to Cry for Rain. Before reading this book, I had little to no knowledge of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Through Ariana’s story, I learned about this piece of history—the Shah’s dictatorship, the SAVAK’s practices of torture and execution, and the shift to an Islamic Republic ruled by Khomeini. In addition, I learned about Armenian traditions related to weddings and Christmas. For example, it is tradition for a male family member to block the door and insist on payment to allow the bride to leave her family’s home.

In addition to the opportunity to expand my knowledge of history and culture, I appreciated the author’s writing style. Petrosian’s love for poetry is evidenced in her writing as she masterfully weaves similes and metaphors into the narrative. “Mom is a quiet storm brewing” and “her eyes [are] cutting daggers” as well as “dark voids of hate” are a few examples. Beyond that, the editing of the book is practically flawless. I found only one missing period in the entire book. I would only suggest adding a table of contents and removing blank pages between chapters which were present in the pdf version I read. I hope the author decides to write a sequel to document how she moves forward, how she finds the strength to forgive, and how God redeems her past.

In conclusion, I heartily award 4 out of 4 stars to Petrosian’s Cry for Rain. It’s a story not easily forgotten that raises thought-provoking questions such as “What is freedom?”. If you are sensitive to domestic violence or terrorism, you may want to pass on this one. However, I recommend it to anyone who is interested in Armenian culture, Iranian history, or anyone who enjoys stories of overcoming adversity and finding hope. This story will raise awareness of childhood abuse, increase your empathy, and elicit gratitude for the blessings you enjoy.

******
Cry For Rain
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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Oct 2018, 13:50

Petrosian’s love for poetry is evidenced in her writing as she masterfully weaves similes and metaphors into the narrative. “Mom is a quiet storm brewing” and “her eyes [are] cutting daggers” as well as “dark voids of hate” are a few examples.


I enjoy reading this type of descriptive imagery--sounds like a great book. Thanks for your excellent review!

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Post by JeanieL+ » 04 Oct 2018, 14:37

I, too, have read Cry for Rain and learned so very much about the culture and the politics of Iran. Melineh's personal story made my heart ache. I wanted to jump through the pages and rescue her and her siblings. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for answering their prayers and leading them to their promised land, the USA. I highly recommend this to everyone who can read, young or old, so they know that not all those in the Middle East are terrorists. Those who truly love God and are filled with peace, bleed and love and have families just like everyone else. There were so many similarities to her childhood. They had TV and listened to Pink Floyd, did gymnastics, and enjoyed the ocean, even during illegal arrests, torture, bombings, oppression, and discrimination. I so admire Melineh, especially for her love and forgiveness of her parents. God bless you and yours, Melineh!

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Post by daydreaming reader » 04 Oct 2018, 15:56

The historical elements in the book are intriguing. Thank you for your review.
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Post by Cotwani » 04 Oct 2018, 18:07

I can't imagine Arianna's horrendous childhood. What was wrong with papa? Thanks for the great review!
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Post by Amanda Deck » 04 Oct 2018, 18:54

Why, oh why do the children suffer at home as well? Turmoil and war in your country are bad enough! I would like to read about the political, and definitely the cultural aspects, but knowing she has no safe haven even with her parents might be too much.
Your examples of her writing sound wonderful. A book could be worth reading just for that.

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Post by Caylie_Cat » 04 Oct 2018, 21:19

Wow, this book seems to have a lot to recommend it and I would love to get my hands on a copy. It is always the children who suffer in times of war and unrest, and my heart goes out to little ones everywhere who have to pay for the decisions of governments and armies who care for nothing but their own agendas. Excellent review!

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Post by wendos » 05 Oct 2018, 04:44

The thoughts of a helpless child suffering is really hard to bear. Its even worse when their is nowhere to run: school, friends, home, and the doctor. Maybe i will shy away from reading the book.

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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Oct 2018, 07:25

I can only imagine the kind of persecution that the author goes through. Things like this help to remind us how lucky we are not to have to face that every day! It sounds like a very well-written book and one worth checking out. Thanks!
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Post by crediblereading2 » 05 Oct 2018, 09:14

This sounds like a really moving story. Poor Ariana suffering at home, at school, and in her country is too much for one small child to bear. I hope her life will change for the better. Thank you for such a splendid review of this book.

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Post by Eva Darrington » 05 Oct 2018, 14:52

What a deeply touching and profound story this is. I would be interested in learning more about this period in Iran's history and the difficult road this girl has travelled. It is hard to know how a soul could survive such an ordeal. Thank you for your thoughtful review.
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Post by jcoad » 05 Oct 2018, 22:45

Perfect book for me! I love learning about different areas and cultures through books and this is one area I know nothing about. Sounds like the actual story may be tough but the book is worth it. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by topdan30 » 06 Oct 2018, 10:11

Iranian revolution will be something that i will want to read bout. This book sounds interesting from ur review. Thanks for the detailed review.

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Post by kdstrack » 06 Oct 2018, 12:36

Many people who go through a childhood like Ariana's end up using that as an excuse for living a life filled with anger and bitterness. It is inspiring how her faith helped her to triumph over the negative attitudes. Great review. Thanks!

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 06 Oct 2018, 12:52

So sad to hear about Ariana, her sufferings at home and abroad. Such a disturbing environment leaves a very bad impact on children. Thanks for this great review.
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