Half a Cup of Sand and Sky
Praise for Half a Cup of Sand and Sky
“ [A] standout debut. . .Bjursten’s prose is clear, polished, and touched with poetry and insight but never getting in the way of the heart of the story: a woman fighting for her family, love, and freedom from political injustice. Well-drawn characters and a tangible sense of living through history will grip readers of realistic and historical fiction, especially as Amineh dares to tell her own story. The final pages will bring tears.”
“…Enticing… Thought-provoking… An emotional historical journey through the recent history of nuclear armament.”
“Half a Cup of Sand and Sky is a beautifully written exploration of a woman’s struggle to find her place in a world marked by political upheaval… [for] fans of high-quality literature everywhere.”
“An engrossing tale of a woman’s quest for love in a world threatened by nuclear proliferation and a nation struggling with the aftermath of a bloody revolution. Deceptively easy to read. . .richly layered. . .a real gem.”
“A captivating story that respects the complexity of Iran and its history and shines a light on the many courageous Iranians striving for democracy, human security, and freedom.”
“A wise, beautiful novel featuring a woman facing the eternal challenge: how to create an authentic self. Amineh, our memorable heroine, emerges in a time of revolutionary change—with its hope, fears, and dangers—as well as usual gender expectations. Bjursten writes with subtlety about Amineh’s conflicts, skilling weaving her into her historical context. I adored this book. Congratulations!”
“Bjursten’s storytelling is both emotionally resonant and intellectually stimulating, making it a must-read for lovers of literary fiction. This novel is a testament to the power of literature to transport readers to different times and places while exploring the universal themes of the human experience.”
“A searing love story unfolds against the violent background of Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the upheaval that followed. This is a book full of passion and spirit. Persian tradition combines with Iranian modernity to shape a rich tapestry of history and emotion.”
“From beautiful images of Iran, Sweden, and the UK, to heavily researched historical events, and to characters that are deeply human in their joys, mistakes, and dreams, Nadine Bjursten has written quite an exceptional book. This is a necessary story of maturity and resilience told from a perspective that is often overlooked by Western readers. Half a Cup of Sand and Sky will captivate folks of all genres and ages with its craft, vitality, and wisdom.”
“Brilliantly layered and beautifully written, this PEN America finalist is both a searing character portrait and an incisive examination of Iranian history, which is at once moving and illuminating.”
“A powerful and thought-provoking tale that delves into the intricate dynamics of love, politics, and the pursuit of personal identity. . . . This exceptional story will ignite your imagination and touch your heart.”
“Bjursten’s HALF A CUP OF SAND AND SKY beautifully balances global risks with the stakes of a single woman’s heart, imbuing both with compelling urgency.”
“A fascinating depiction of a period with far-reaching consequences in Iran’s history. Evocative, moving and informative.”
Over a picnic, Amineh agrees to accompany her best friend, Ava, to an underground meeting. There, she meets Farzad, an opposition leader with a plan to hold the shah accountable for his actions and to rid the world of the nuclear threat that hangs over them all.
Despite her hesitation, Amineh will soon find her life inextricably wound with Farzad’s. As the revolution unfolds, she will be tested by a country she doesn’t recognize, by her husband’s activism she fears is putting their family at risk, and by the burden of the guilt she carries from her childhood.
She will turn to her mother’s recipes to create the loving, nourishing home for her children she remembers, but it won’t be long before her husband’s dangerous work follows him home.
Forced to give up everything, Amineh will have to face the tragic accident that took her parents’ lives, and ultimately, she will be given a final chance to choose love