Marsha Mehran, The Margaret Thatcher School Of Beauty

$13.99 4th Estate (HarperCollins)

$13.99 4th Estate (HarperCollins)

Every now and again you come across a novel that is so utterly charming, so evocative, the touch so light that it comes across as complete whimsy, or magic.

I heard Elizabeth Gilbert comment once that books should first and foremost be a delight for the reader. The Margaret Thatcher School Of Beauty manages that tightrope between charm and weighty subject matter such as wars spanning two continents, refugees, revolutions and a classic coming-of-age tale. 

It will indeed delight you, just as it may break your heart. 

 

The Blurb from HarperCollins

A moving tale of exile, friendship, love and the healing power of poetry from the bestselling author of Pomegranate Soup. Set in Buenos Aires during the Falklands War, The Margaret Thatcher School of Beauty is the story of a group of displaced Iranian refugees living in a decaying Beaux Arts building in the city centre. The inhabitants of the building form an eclectic community: a sick ex-prisoner and his daughter, a promising medical student; a timid hairdresser; a newlywed couple with a dark past; a young revolutionary; an eccentric pilgrim of Mecca; and at the heart of the group Zadi Heirati, a single mother struggling to make ends meet at the beauty salon she operates from her apartment. Drawn together by a revolution in their homeland, they begin to find solace in weekly poetry meetings. The words they share inspire each to turn inward and discover beauty long buried. As a new war unfolds in their adopted country, this group of disenchanted individuals begins to form a family. At once familiar and extraordinary, this moving story weaves disparate lives together into a tapestry of unique grace, wit and lyricism. 

Mehran is a sensually evocative writer ... a joy to read

 - Sydney Morning Herald

I was sent a review copy from HarperCollins, but all opinions are my own