Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Shattered Peacock: A Story of Life and Revolution by Lisa Di Vita is a fiction story based on real political events that happened in Iran or Persia in the 1970s. Although the characters and their stories are fictional, the novel is set against the true background of the Iranian revolution in the '70s and the upheaval it caused. Shattered Peacock begins when we are introduced to the main characters in the book, the chief among them being young Soraya Sultan. Soraya has lived a happy and sheltered existence in the regime of the Shah of Iran, with her husband and young son, but when the Iranian Revolution began, their old lives change as she is accused and associated with the deposed Shah. As the more rigid, conservative Islamic forces of Ayatollah Khomeini take hold, Soraya is forced to flee, after being separated from her husband and losing their belongings, and this is her journey and her experiences during that flight to freedom.
Shattered Peacock: A Story of Life and Revolution by Lisa Di Vita is a well written book and brings to life the chaos and upheaval of the Iranian Revolution. Soraya’s character has been well drawn as the privileged, fortunate girl who quickly grows up during these turbulent times. The writing is engaging and Lisa shows an understanding of Persian culture and tradition as she describes the Persian scenes in some detail. The novel also exposes the basic inequality that exists between men and women in Persian and, indeed, in Islamic society as Soraya and the other women face sexual abuse and molestation from men, while the responsibility and blame for this still lies completely with the woman. Although fictional, this is a good read from a broad historical perspective.