The author taught in Tehran before and after the Revolution and the war against Irak. She loves her homeland but is oppressed by the regime. She quits her job at the University but chooses a few female students and teaches them illegally at her home. Their lives are entertwined with the banned books that are being studied, works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, Jane Austen, and Vladimie Nabokov. The women do not live fullfilled lives because they do not have the freedom to tap into their potential. A lot of them end up leaving the country.
This book captures the powerful force of literature in the face of tyranny and oppression.