Moon At Nine: A Review



Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail or worse.
   The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be a homosexual in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both?
   Based on real-life events, multi-award-winning author Deborah Ellis’s new book is a tense and riveting story about a world where homosexuality is considered so abhorrent that it is punishable by death.

The love story of Farrin and Sadira is beautiful. Besides the love story, I loved the historical references. Ellis gives you a healthy dose of history for more understanding of the story and the life of the characters. It was a very political and dangerous life in Iran during the 80s. The setting is in 1988 when the Shah was overthrown and taken over by the Revolutionary Guards, a group of individuals who enforced the laws of religious practices and they will soon turn Farrin and Sadira’s life upside down.

I could not put this book down. What intrigued me the most about this book is that it is based on a true story. The story takes place in Iran and it is a place with strict rules involving social conduct, especially with women. Farrin and Sadira are of two different worlds, but find themselves in love and willing to die for it. The two were condemned by their families and even sentenced to death for loving each other. I must say the two girls were very smart and determined. They were mini activists and mature at such a young age.

The book is so well written that I could tell Ellis did a great deal of research of Iran’s history and an conducted in-depth interview with the real-life Farrin. I have a huge amount of respect for Ellis and Farrin. I am truly grateful to have been able to read such a powerful and courageous book of love and friendship in the times of conservative individuals who fought relentlessly to put it to an end. A series of events happen and the story ends in a very unlikely place! I don’t want to give too much away, but the story is very touching and gives us a glimpse of the lives of women in Iran who chose love regardless of gender and socioeconomic status.

Moon At Nine is a must read! It is available on and you can check your local bookstore for its availability. The cover is amazing, for all of the book cover lovers!

A major thank you to Pajama Press for providing this book for me to review. I will keep it on my bookshelf for years to come.




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