Remembering Hope

Fiction - Womens
298 Pages
Reviewed on 07/20/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Parastoo Rezai lives in San Diego, California, with her devoted husband, two heart-warming children, and one rambunctious puppy who follows her around like a shadow wherever she may go. Parastoo received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from UCSD, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California, and a master’s degree in Pharmacoeconomics from the University of Florida. For much of her career, Parastoo has worked as a Clinical Pharmacist, serving various disciplines within the profession. When not working, she devotes much of her time to the pursuit of other passions, such as reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Her inspiration for this novel comes from her deep empathy for individuals coping with hardships and her certainty that triumph after each struggle is possible when hope continues to reside in our hearts.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Remembering Hope by Parastoo Rezai is the story of a woman trying to keep her family intact while facing overwhelming odds. Bahar is an Iranian woman brought up in a conservative culture. After her childhood friend Shirin introduces Bahar to her cousin, Omid, Bahar finds herself falling deeply in love with him. Soon, the two of them end up getting married, and Bahar relocates to San Diego. She slowly acclimatizes herself to American culture and, over the years, finds herself blessed with two healthy boys. But when Omid is diagnosed with a brain tumor, her entire life falls apart. As she deals with her husband's treatment, Bahar comes to learn about their dwindling finances. With the help of her friends and family, Bahar slowly puts things in order, but her own diagnosis complicates her life further.

Author Parastoo Rezai tells a heartbreaking tale of a woman going through a grueling life crisis with her husband's failing health and her determination to keep her family afloat through financial troubles. The narrative is well-paced, taking the reader through every aspect of Bahar's life as she navigates trying circumstances and becomes an independent woman of her own. There is a sense of authenticity to the characters that makes you root for them and turn the pages in eager anticipation of what's to come. Despite the harrowing circumstances that Bahar goes through, Remembering Hope encapsulates the power of perseverance against all odds and how caring friends and family make bleak situations easier to navigate. If you enjoy reading inspirational stories featuring strong women, I highly recommend this book.

Bob Griffin

Sweet slice of life as told by immigrants from Iran. Regardless of where we are from... we all must face challenges and endure to the end in the experience called life!

Parastoo is an exceptional writer and an amazing success in life!


...heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. The author perfectly wrote a story of sickness and tragedy while giving readers a feel of love and immense kindness......This talent Rezai has shown is laudible." -Onlinebookclub

Jane Kirkpatrick

"....story with compelling writing and fresh imagery offering a unique fictional voice..... Remembering Hope is a story that opens a door into a world worthy of visiting. Author Rezai has made that door worth walking through." -Jane Kirkpatrick, New York Times best-selling and award-winning author

Kirkus Review

" intelligently told tale about the ways in which dreamlike happiness, even the kind that has endured for decades, is always ultimately fragile....A sweet tale of love and crisis with a memorable protagonist."-Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

"...exploration of one woman's sorrow over her husband's disease and her fortitude to put the needs of her sons first propels this novel swiftly forward to its satisfying, emotion-filled conclusion."-Publishers Weekly

Rader Family

A beautifully written, poignant story that brings to life the powerful love and resilience of the characters, Omid and Bahar, "Remembering Hope" is a touching and emotionally gripping story told through the voice of upcoming author Parastoo Rezai. Rezai's ability to capture the journey of hope in a time where much hope is needed is truly inspiring. Unlike a traditional Nicholas Sparks romance novel, Rezai's personal experiences as a Persian-American author deeply connects with her global female audience and this was a book I finished in less than a day. I highly recommend this book to anyone searching for a page-turning love story to get lost in that is clearly written from the heart.

Irina A

The author writes about the past and present with foreshadowing about the future while also describing particularities of Iranian and Iranian-American culture. The reader feels immersed into the lives of the characters from the first page and is taken along their journey interacting with their family, friends, and everyone they come in contact with. The descriptive text and dialogues trigger real feelings and emotions that the reader can relate and identify with. There are some minor typos throughout the book and, given that the writer is also a pharmacist, there is some medical jargon that not every reader may be familiar with, but that doesn’t impede the flow of the story. I enjoyed this book very much and applaud the author for her ability to deliver the message on the importance of love and family which gives life to courage and perseverance even when there seems to be no hope left

Donna Booth

Remembering Hope by Parastoo Rezai had me captivated from the very start. I could not put it down as I wanted to know more about Bahar and Omid’s love story. While I knew the ultimate outcome for Omid, I desperately wanted him to live. The strength and perseverance demonstrated by Bahar throughout the story was inspiring. The story was beautifully composed. I felt like I was part of the story and that Bahar was my friend. The ending left me wanting more…hoping that there will be a sequel. I highly recommend this book!!


I loved this novel! I found myself caring about the characters, their relationship, and what was going to happen next. I loved the theme of family - we all need strong family support, and this book captured that so well. The author did a marvelous job giving the characters strong development, relatable character flaws, and kept the events real, but hopeful. You will not be able to put it down!!

Marla Flores MFT

Even a fairytale life, like the one shared between Bahar and Omid cannot protect us from life’s deepest tragedies. Through graceful prose and gentle yet direct dialogue, Parastoo Rezai tells the story of a woman who is simultaneously resilient and vulnerable.
In Remembering Hope, Rezai beautifully illustrates how to navigate life‘s most undesired circumstances. Readers are reminded that a foundation firmly rooted in love and humanity leads to perseverance and renewal. Rezai also reminds the reader that the key to hope and renewal lies not in answering life’s most difficult questions. Hope is found, despite uncertainly, in the courageous understanding of self, while caring deeply for others. Remembering Hope is highly recommended to all readers who enjoy biographical stories of relatable and extraordinary individuals who transition from emotional isolation to community and contribution.

Ian Maxwell

First off, let me say I have never been a fan of romance novels. There is nothing wrong with them, just not my thing. This book is VERY different. It was not so much a romance novel as it was a window into personal struggle through a cultural lens that gives the reader intimate insight into the unique yet universal theme of how people can rise to the occasion when hit with life’s hardships. The way the book moves the reader through the timeline of the story allows for unique perspectives into the characters development in both past and present. While there is romance in the novel, the harsh realities of the book hit home for me as I know my mom went through a very similar experience as the main character. It provided me a different perspective on a shared painful family experience I had not been aware of before. It gave me TONS more respect for my mom and how she brought us through a similar experience with so much strength and love. This is well worth the read and what a great accomplishment for a first time author. Well done!

Amazon Customer

Parastoo Rezai’s impressive first book, Remembering Hope, feels like a labor of love, and it is based loosely on actual events. Knowing this made an even bigger impact. Though the character comes from a particular culture (Iranian, then Iranian-American), her story is universal in its theme of the life-sustaining importance of family, friendship, and love- especially during our darkest hours. The well-paced dialogue employed by the author keeps the story moving forward and kept me turning the pages each night.
On a personal (and practical) note, I audibly gasped when I read a few of the lines that were especially heart-breaking, and it actually spurred me to take action in my own life- making sure I have made responsible and practical decisions to obtain and finalize things like a living trust and life and disability insurance should the unthinkable occur.


Remembering Hope is absolutely a book to read yourself and the perfect book to gift to someone you care about. Not only is it a smooth page turner and intriguing story with great character development, but it is a book that will have a lasting impression on whoever reads it. Every person endures hardships in their life that are unique and impactful. Parastoo Rezai’s beautifully written debut novel takes you on an intimate, authentic journey through one family’s experience with the ultimate challenges exploring how they endure and overcome with courage, persistence, togetherness, love and, of course, Hope. As I laid in a hospital bed reading Remembering Hope, I was inspired to persevere, maintain hope and optimism for what was next to come from my own personal journey. I am grateful to have read this book and I highly recommend it! I will certainly be sharing it with everyone I love!