Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Sourcebooks Landmark: Paperback
Azerbaijan the late 1970's. Leila, a piano prodigy, is a proud daughter of the Communist Party. She is asked by her mentor to spy on a music store where the owners are suspected of being under the influence of Western ideas and broadcasting them to other people.
Entering the store Leila finds the interesting owner and painter Tahir. A boy just a few years older but seemingly so much wiser about things happening in their country. Eventually Leila has to make a decision. Her music, piano and the Communist party in Azzerbaijan or the love of her life Tahir and the west.
I must admit that I do not often read books set in an Eastern setting. But the promise of jazz music, art, love combined with an attractive cover was enough to convince me to read this book.
There is a lot of emotion in this book. Feeling haunted in dark streets. Feeling as if you are walking in the market, in the streets of Baku. The importance of the music in both lives of Leila and Tahir.
There are a lot of interesting topics touched in this book but the most interesting was reading it from the point of view from a teenager. It is obvious the author writes from experience.
It is easy to connect to Leila. Though it is sometimes difficult to place myself in her shoes as I am not familiar with the circumstances it is clear that the choices she has to make are important for her life.
Tahir is an interesting character. Though you do get parts of his story I would have loved to know more about him.