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See full review at Shellyback booksA quirky fun and relaxing read If life is a journey this is Valerie s journey The diary like chic lit writing style gives it a certain Bridget Jones diary feel Whilst I am not really a fan of chic lit, preferring fiction withsubstance I did enjoy this novel In true chic lit style it is written in the first person, and Valerie the main character is likeable, amusing and being far from perfect easy to relate to The identity of Roseheart pictured on the See full review at Shellyback booksA quirky fun and relaxing read If life is a journey this is Valerie s journey The diary like chic lit writing style gives it a certain Bridget Jones diary feel Whilst I am not really a fan of chic lit, preferring fiction withsubstance I did enjoy this novel In true chic lit style it is written in the first person, and Valerie the main character is likeable, amusing and being far from perfect easy to relate to The identity of Roseheart pictured on the cover surprisingly is not Valerie, as I d initially assumed It is only later into the story that we learn the connection and who it is.I particularly enjoyed the multicultural element, the fly on the wall look at American Persian culture., The first chapter did a really good job of pulling me in but later into the book it was her relationship with her mother in law, which kept me interested Two thirds of the way through the book and still enjoying it I started to wonder where it was going.Whilst admittedly light fiction there isthan enough going on in Valerie s life as well as some surprises to keep a reader interested At times I found the writing a bit flat and it jumped about a bit but that is probably intentional or simply chic lit style The last chapter pulls it together, with the ending being unexpected.A well written debut novel, recommended as a light and relaxing read and for chic lit fans A definite thumbs up Review copy received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Roseheart, Catherine DehdashtiReview from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre Women s Fiction, Literature Fiction Adult I m a bit on the fence with this read I didn t really feel drawn in to the book, feel the characters and situations were real I felt Valerie and Naveed were together as much for convenience that for love I just didn t feel that pull between them, that tension and edginess that sparks in a new relationship, and somehow they just seemed to drift into living together I did like Roseheart, Catherine DehdashtiReview from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre Women s Fiction, Literature Fiction Adult I m a bit on the fence with this read I didn t really feel drawn in to the book, feel the characters and situations were real I felt Valerie and Naveed were together as much for convenience that for love I just didn t feel that pull between them, that tension and edginess that sparks in a new relationship, and somehow they just seemed to drift into living together I did like the descriptions of recipes and Iranian culture, and they way that East and West mix, with some unintentional difficulties caused by lack of cultural understanding When Naveed s mother comes on an open ended stay that was interesting, seeing how Valerie tries to make her welcome but at the same time wonders when she s going then gradually Goli becomes part of the family, in that she just becomes part of their everyday life and not the visitor she first was Overall though it was a story I could pick up and put down easily, one I enjoyed but wouldn t re read Stars Three, a one off read for meARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers Rating 4 of 5 starsA good weekend read, great for bookclub.You can usually tell if you re going to like a book from the first page A pretty cover is all good and well, and a thought provoking poem might tilt you one way or the other, but that opening page is where you shake hands with a book and decide if you re going to stick around for a drink or make up some kind of excuse and leave that is, unless you re reading Ayn Rand or E.L James, in which case you must immediately run screaming from Rating 4 of 5 starsA good weekend read, great for bookclub.You can usually tell if you re going to like a book from the first page A pretty cover is all good and well, and a thought provoking poem might tilt you one way or the other, but that opening page is where you shake hands with a book and decide if you re going to stick around for a drink or make up some kind of excuse and leave that is, unless you re reading Ayn Rand or E.L James, in which case you must immediately run screaming from the room.The book sidles up to you and gives you a winning smile, and it s best come on line Sometimes it eases gently into it, with a little bit of scene setting, but somewhere on that first page you will see it The twinkle in its eye, the dimple in its cheek The line that makes you stick around and read.For me, it was the rhythm, alliteration, imagery and the sense that the author enjoyed writing as much as I am enjoying reading this sentence but even at a crawl, I lose and regain control over and over, rejoicing every time I narrowly escape hitting a punk rock pedestrian as I skate my way through Uptown.I received this for review via NetGalley, and before reading it, I was excited to learnabout modern Persian culture.The novel is set in the 90s, in Dinkytown, a small Minnesotan town in the middle of nowhere, where the protagonist works in a kebab shop It tracks her blossoming relationship with Naveed, which is thrown into conflict upon the arrival of his Iranian mother At first, I thought she was awful to him, picking out his every flaw and criticizing each thing he did on their dates However, I think I prefer that to the usual chick lit in which the woman fawns over the man s perfect butt, smile, whatever I like that Dehdashti s main character is imperfect, as is her love interest Character flaws give depth, making the good things that much better, and the characters that muchreal.I absolutely love Goli Joon, and the descriptions of her reactions to everyday, American life In fact, I may have loved her too much Maybe she wasn t evil enough to justify Valerie wanting her to leave But then again, when you ve just moved in with your boyfriend, having Mummy Dearest around could be enough of a problem.The novel explores Valerie s encounters with taarof the Persian customs surrounding greetings, serving and invitations as well as describing the food in mouthwatering detail As a foodie book, I d shelve it beside such books as Like Water for Chocolate It feels like a diary, or a chat with a friend It s overwhelmingly pleasant to read, with just enough conflict to keep you turning the pages, while allowing you to linger over the dishes It s light and funny, without dumbing itself down, and it tackles some tough issues without the narrator becoming unrelatable.I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and recommend it as a light summer read, great for holidays, weekends, travel and some me time 3.5 5 My favourite element of this book was the infusion of multiple cultures, as being a Muslim in a Western country it was something I could understand firsthand It s difficult to find a book like this that is so open to diversity and exploring different cultures Also the focus on family was realistic and made me remember how valuable and important family is and how sometimes we can take it for granted Valerie reminded me that although at times I feel suffocated by my family, they are our 3.5 5 My favourite element of this book was the infusion of multiple cultures, as being a Muslim in a Western country it was something I could understand firsthand It s difficult to find a book like this that is so open to diversity and exploring different cultures Also the focus on family was realistic and made me remember how valuable and important family is and how sometimes we can take it for granted Valerie reminded me that although at times I feel suffocated by my family, they are our rocks and should be cherished no matter what In that sense, I enjoyed reading this book However, I felt like I couldn t exactly relate to Valerie that well as a protagonist For instance, we don t hear her name until 10 pages in and for a while I had no information as to what she looked like, so it was hard to imagine her Despite being written almost like a diary entry her voice seemed distant and as if she had gotten swept up with the large amount of time that passes through in this book With that being said, the format made this book a very easy and quick read Thank you to the author for sending me a copy it was well worth the read Disclaimer I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads This is Minnesota and I m a stereotypical reticent Minnesotan This home is also Iran, where elders must be revered and respected I must stay within the boundaries of both of these cultures, but this soap game is a pressure valve So says main character Valerie Kjos Shushtari in Catherine Dehdashti s wonderful debut novel Valerie acutely feels the push and pull of two very different cultures, and struggles to find a comfortable place in between Deshdati explores the ups and downs of such an This is Minnesota and I m a stereotypical reticent Minnesotan This home is also Iran, where elders must be revered and respected I must stay within the boundaries of both of these cultures, but this soap game is a pressure valve So says main character Valerie Kjos Shushtari in Catherine Dehdashti s wonderful debut novel Valerie acutely feels the push and pull of two very different cultures, and struggles to find a comfortable place in between Deshdati explores the ups and downs of such an existence with humor and compassion, and powerfully explores the complexities of blended families I m eagerly awaiting her next novel Disclosure I was asked to read this book by the author.Reading Roseheart was like pulling on that old comfortable sweatshirt that you never quite want to toss out Maybe it was the familiarity of the 80 s and 90 s era in which the book was set, or the Minneapolis, Minnesota setting, but I felt as if I were reading about an alternate path my life could have taken.I think I ll read it a second time, though, this time with an eye towards identifying the motivation of the main character Valerie, be Disclosure I was asked to read this book by the author.Reading Roseheart was like pulling on that old comfortable sweatshirt that you never quite want to toss out Maybe it was the familiarity of the 80 s and 90 s era in which the book was set, or the Minneapolis, Minnesota setting, but I felt as if I were reading about an alternate path my life could have taken.I think I ll read it a second time, though, this time with an eye towards identifying the motivation of the main character Valerie, because that was the one thing I missed the first time through Like a teacher who critiqued Valerie s novel, Hogwash, it s entertaining, but that she isn t sure what my main character s motivation is Just finished this debut novel and loved it A free spirited, young woman Valerie falls in love with a Persian man Naveed who is handsome and kind and also very good to his mother Her life soon changes as she learns the joys and complexities of living with her new husband and an extended visit from hermother in law Goli Funny and tender it was a joy to read I enjoyed the familiar Minnesota metro setting and the window into Iranian culture and cuisine Well written and strong characters I Just finished this debut novel and loved it A free spirited, young woman Valerie falls in love with a Persian man Naveed who is handsome and kind and also very good to his mother Her life soon changes as she learns the joys and complexities of living with her new husband and an extended visit from hermother in law Goli Funny and tender it was a joy to read I enjoyed the familiar Minnesota metro setting and the window into Iranian culture and cuisine Well written and strong characters I look forward to readingbooks by Catherine Dehdashti *Download Book ⇵ Roseheart ⇱ A story about family, set in the s, and told through the sardonic voice of Valerie Kjos She s a young Midwestern Gen X er whose life is just barely coming together with her boyfriend when his Iranian mother, Goli, comes for a visit that seems to never endValerie will have to decide what s important doing everything her own way, or her beloved Naveed and his live in mother, who might not approve if she knew everything about her But as she s about to learn, Goli has secrets of her ownRoseheart has been compared t Bridget Jones s Diary, by Helen Fielding Funny in Farsi, by Firoozeh Dumas or Welcome to My Planet Where English is Sometimes Spoken, by Shannon Olson The culinary imagery in Roseheart has also drawn connections to The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu Jaber Copy provided by NetGalley for an honest review This book was quirky, fun and well thought out, but it fell short for me It s about family, and life and just getting on, but I found it all a bit meh That said, it was REALLY well written and im sure im not the target audience so maybe some one else might find this a five star read, but it just wasnt for me. I won this book through Goodreads First ReadsWhen I first opened the book and started reading it I thought for sure that I was not going to like this book, but I gave it a little bit of time and I ended up loving it Could not put it down I honestly laughed out loud.