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Publisher's Summary

Jacqueline Saper, named after Jacqueline Kennedy, was born in Tehran to Iranian and British parents. At 18 she witnessed the civil unrest of the 1979 Iranian revolution and continued to live in the Islamic Republic during its most volatile times, including the Iran-Iraq War. In a deeply intimate and personal story, Saper recounts her privileged childhood in prerevolutionary Iran and how she gradually became aware of the paradoxes in her life and community - primarily the disparate religions and cultures.

In 1979 under the Ayatollah regime, Iran became increasingly unfamiliar and hostile to Saper. Seemingly overnight she went from living a carefree life of wearing miniskirts and attending high school to listening to fanatic diatribes, forced to wear the hijab, and hiding in the basement as Iraqi bombs fell over the city. She eventually fled to the United States in 1987 with her husband and children after, in part, witnessing her six-year-old daughter’s indoctrination into radical Islamic politics at school. At the heart of Saper’s story is a harrowing and instructive tale of how extremist ideologies seized a Westernized, affluent country and transformed it into a fundamentalist Islamic society.

©2018 Jaqueline Saper (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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What listeners say about From Miniskirt to Hijab

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Very good

I was not sure whether this would be a book that I would enjoy or not, but it proved to be very enjoyable. It was very interesting to hear the first hand accounts of someone who lived through great social and political upheaval in a nation that went very quickly from a first world nation to a third world nation with fringe lunatic leaders. This is a good read for us Americans so we realize how fast the very same situation can happen in our land.

9 people found this helpful

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Brought back many fading memories

This is a very true and sad story of how a proud culture was deceived and trampled. I was born and raised at the era and listening to this book brought back many memories I have kept locked for many years. Lacking political views made the book an easy to listen but I hope someday, someone would write about the whole story with all its secrets revealed.

5 people found this helpful

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Makes you feel you were there

This book is a beautifully written and read collection of stories from the inflection point of a country’s history. I started it to hear a more detailed perspective on the countries so often in the news. Each anecdote has very satisfying details and paints a vivid picture of how it must feel to live under the huge stress of living in a country whose value system is changing underneath your feet.

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Sadly inconsequential, DNF

I really wanted this to be a good book, but unfortunately it’s not. It’s shallow and without insight and never rises beyond soap operaesque Daily Mail cliches. It’s also politically infantile: It begins with the Shah being good because he’s a king, and there are no signs the book could possibly broaden its horizon from there. Unbearable, could not finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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so good!

Such a good book. the story is amazing and contrasts pre and post revolution iran in a fascinating way.

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Highly recommend

Such a fantastic story and great narration. Definitely recommend this book as it will immerse you in her experiences

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loved this book

This author/narrator did an excellent job of telling her story while also explaining the history and circumstances of Iran. It was like listening to a dear friend recount her experiences and every time I put it down, I couldn't wait to get back to hear the rest of her story.

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Surprisingly Good

I had no idea this book was about a Jewish family. Being Jewish myself, I was enraptured. A must read. So much insight.

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The world is full of stupid people...

...or people who make stupid decisions. It's up to the author to help the reader understand the sheer idiocy of these people and/or their decisions. This author does not. Apparently her editor was as comatose as the people in this memoir.

Here's an example: The mother in this story (a Jewish woman from England) meets Jewish guy from Iran who's studying in England. She decides to marry him and move to Iran. (Dumb decision number one that we might blame on being in love but I have a hard time believing that her parents didn't have something to say about this--like, "Hey, honey, why don't you and your new husband stay here instead of living in a Muslim country?" The author has nothing to say about this.) Dumb decision number two: Young English woman, now living in Tehran, never bothers to learn Farsi!

As for why they don't leave when something like 80 percent of the Jews flee--can you say "Holocaust" anyone?"--is a mystery. Her two brothers stay in England. Her sister, husband, and baby daughter escape immediately to the US.

The author (in her last year of high school) is in England when things start to go off the rails. Her brother tells his wife that his sister needs to stay a little longer. Then she can stay with a number of other relatives, go to boarding school. but the wife says no. The author goes home to Tehran as does her mother. The father refuses to leave. The author does not enlighten us as to why her sister-in-law is such an utter witch, why the author's brother doesn't insist or make other arrangements, why the father is so blind, etc.

And that's the problem. There's no character development so the reader can't understand anyone's motivation.

I couldn't finish the book. Things just get worse and worse as the revolution wears on but the author seems like la, la, la, Jews are getting executed, I have to wear a hijab, doesn't this seem like Germany in WW2?, la, la, la.

I assume she gets out, since she wrote this book, but this book is so badly written, I'm abandoning it.

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Fascinating to step in her shoes

A very interesting read on so many levels. I learned more about how a country falls to religious extremism and more about the history of Iran prior to the wars the USA became involved in and how the country got to where it is now.

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  • 11-22-21

Gripping story

As an Iranian born and bred during the war I relayed to this story on so many levels. The story is gripping and true on so many level. The details described depicts the whole scene in the listeners mind. One of the best books I have listened to. Highly highly recommend it