Anna, a young American studying in Chicago falls in love with fellow-student Nouri, the son of a wealthy Iranian. Anna, whose parents are divorced, eagerly moves to Tehran where she marries and is embraced by Nouri's family. A few months later, however, in February 1978, the Shah is deposed and the Islamic Republic of Iran is formed. Life turns upside down for the couple as men, but especially women, are restricted in their activities, clothing, and behavior. Arrests and torture are frequent, education for women is prohibited, and Anna cannot travel without her husband's permission. Although she tries to conform to please her husband and new family, Anna chafes under the oppression, while Nouri seems to embrace it. Anna becomes desperate to return to America, but Nouri refuses to allow it. Tension builds until a shattering event changes everything and plunges Anna into a tumultuous and dangerous vortex, raising the possibility she will never leave Iran alive.
Hellmann crafts a tragically beautiful story that is both subtle and vibrant. The author does an amazing job of never by sacrificing the quality of her storytelling... A bleak and heart-wrenching tale that will stay with the reader long after they finish. Bryan VanMeter, Crimespree Magazine
The Iranian revolution provides the backdrop for this meticulously researched, fast-paced stand-alone… A significant departure from the author’s Chicago-based mystery series, this political thriller will please fans and newcomers alike. Publishers Weekly
Readers will be drawn in through the well-researched inside look at Iran in the late 1970s and gain perspective on what the people in that time and place endured. A Bitter Veil is so thought-provoking that it especially would be a great title for book clubs. Amy Alessio, BookReporter.com