Kirkus Reviews (review date 15 December 1997)
SOURCE: A review of Persian Brides, in Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 1997, p. 1804.
[In the following review, the critic praises Rabinyan for his colorful portrayal of Jewish life in a turn-of-the-century Persian village in Persian Brides.]
[T]his raucous and colorful first novel by Rabinyan, an Israeli journalist and playwright, convincingly re-creates the complex texture of life in the Jewish quarter of a Persian village at the beginning of the 20th century. The major characters, 15-year-old Flora (who's pregnant, and abandoned) and her younger cousin Nazie (who longs for Flora's brother, to whom she was promised at birth) mature quickly as members of a vigorous subculture of women hardened by their unfair share of the burdens of the world and their combative relationships with men and "tradition." Rabinyan's portrait of their "almond tree alley," often reminiscent of Sholom Aleichem, is distinguished by knowledgeable descriptions of the rituals of birth and burial and peopled with such memorable supporting characters as a prostitute rumored to be the lover of a village demon. A very assured and entertaining debut performance.