• The Stationery Shop

  • A Novel
  • By: Marjan Kamali
  • Narrated by: Mozhan Marnò
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,734 ratings)

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The Stationery Shop  By  cover art

The Stationery Shop

By: Marjan Kamali
Narrated by: Mozhan Marnò
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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning author of Together Tea - a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and wise” by Jill Davis, best-selling author of Girls’ Poker Night - comes a powerful love story exploring loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate. 

Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amid the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper.

When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer - handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry - she loses her heart at once. As their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts - a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again.

Until, more than 60 years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?

The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love. 

©2019 Marjan Kamali (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic Reviews

"Mozhan Marnò gives an extraordinary narration of this audiobook... Marnò's expressive narration reveals every nuance of Roya's emotional journey.... Sensitive portrayals of Roya's family and friends, and vivid descriptions of Iranian food and customs, add depth to this moving listen." (AudioFile Magazine)

What listeners say about The Stationery Shop

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

A story of young love beautifully depicted

Yet another outstanding performance by Mozhan Marnò, simply flawless! Mozhan Marnò’s performance can make any simple story a powerful one.

5 people found this helpful

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Beautiful Story

Audio version — well narrated. I couldn’t stop listening ! Centers around one love story yet this is a story of many loves, types of love, of loves lost and sometimes refound and/or understood. All set in the backdrop of Iran in the 1950’s and fast forwards to 2013 in the U.S. Loved the short passage on “time” in one of the final chapters.

5 people found this helpful

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Underwhelmed...but made me hungry😉

To start with, this was one of the most depressing books I have read (listened to) since Goldfinch. The main characters experienced little if any joy from their lives, and they lived their lives by floating through the present with a fake persona. To wait until age 77 to come to terms with the loss of your teenage romance would be unreasonably torturous. It was disjointed, jumping from decade to decade, and the character development was weak at best. The introduction of Claire was the highlight of the book. That said, I enjoyed reading about Persian foods and learning more about the history of that time in Iran.

4 people found this helpful

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This story filled my heart

I loved everything about this book: the story, the words that paint a vivid picture, the lyrical sentences, the perfect voice to read the story. Absolutely lovely.

3 people found this helpful

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History personified

After reading the book and realizing that it’s not just a love story but a chronology of of the events that have led to Iran’s geopolitical stance today. I was so impressed by the author’s story that I purchased & shared the audio version with my wife & granddaughter on a long trip from Myrtle Beach to NJ & back as evacuees during Hurricane Dorian.

3 people found this helpful

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Political Romance

The narrator was superb for this book! I enjoyed the glimpse into Tehran and Iran in the 1950s. It's always fascinating to me to learn of people's lives in the midst of upheaval/unrest. I liked the blending of Rumi's poetry with political and social revolution and love. I enjoyed the span across many decades and how the author pulled those threads back together. The two main characters were developed fairly well and given depth by the challenges they each faced in their separate lives as well as the love they shared for a lifetime. I liked that their was a sweet (but not perfect) ending. Definitely a good read!

3 people found this helpful

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Dear story-wonderful narration

The author is a master at capturing emotions, describing cultural mores, and creating a dear story with just the right amount of coincidence to fit the puzzle together.

1 person found this helpful

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exceptionally good fiction

I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. its a lesson in history and culture all rolled into a story of love. well written and beautifully read.

1 person found this helpful

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Worth the listen

A pleasant book about love in Iran, Persia, under the Shah and political activism that separates youth from their dreams. Also renders insight into marriage between people of different countries and personalities. I gave this book a three because it is so easy to “read,” has uncomplicated characters and feels too predictable. However, the overall theme, if wishful thinking, redeems the book. Book clubs will go for it— most men won’t.

1 person found this helpful

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great writing, predictable story

it must hurt to be so talented at turning a phrase and so gifted at conveying an emotion, yet so bereft of the ability to compose compelling story with an original plot. Kamali is a poor man's Khaled Housseini and should stick to 500 or less word articles.

1 person found this helpful