The Temporary Bride by Jennifer KlinecMy rating: Nonfiction Memoi
Source: Publisher (via Netgalley)
Reading rather like a romance novel, The Temporary Bride takes us with Jennifer to Iran. She goes to learn about food, but along the way, she falls in love with Vahid, a young man who absolutely cannot marry her. At least, not according to his family. And nothing in his upbringing prepares him to fight back, even when Jennifer's visa is about to expire.
Iranian law and custom, however, has a fairly substantial loophole: with a temporary marriage contract, a couple can be together without any long-term commitment. This concept absolutely stunned me. From a few hours to days, weeks, or years, the only requirement is to find an Imam who's willing to marry you, and for the man to pay the woman for her time (yes, really). It's hard to imagine such a conservative, religious environment coming up with such a scheme.
Since this isn't romantic fiction, of course, there's no guarantee of a happy ending, and I won't spoil the book for future readers by sharing how the story ends. Suffice it to say that this is a fascinating glimpse into Iranian culture and cuisine, as well as a compelling human story.