Only This Beautiful Moment

By Abdi Nazemian

Hardcover edition

Publisher HarperCollins Imprint Balzer + Bray ISBN


Only This Beautiful Moment

In stock


Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism,Discrimination: Sexuality,Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse,Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use,Language: Strong Language,Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes,Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion

From the Stonewall Honor–winning author of Like a Love Story comes a sweeping story of three generations of boys in the same Iranian family, examining the intersection of American, Iranian, and queer identity at the end of different decades.

2019. Moud (short for Mahmoud) is an out gay teen living in Los Angeles with his distant father, Saeed. When Moud gets the news that his grandfather in Iran is dying, he accompanies his dad to Tehran, where the revelation of family secrets will force Moud into a new understanding of his history, his culture, and himself.

1978. Saeed is an engineering student with a promising future ahead of him in Tehran. But when his parents discover his involvement in the country’s burgeoning revolution, they send him to safety in America, a country Saeed despises. And even worse—he’s forced to live with the American grandmother he never knew existed.

1939. Bobby, the son of a calculating Hollywood stage mother, lands a coveted MGM studio contract. But the fairy-tale world of glamour he’s thrust into has a dark side.

Set against the backdrop of Tehran and Los Angeles in three different eras, this sweeping tale of intergenerational trauma and love is an ode to the fragile bonds of family, the hidden secrets of history, and all the beautiful moments that make us who we are today.

Author’s note.
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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—This complex book spans three generations and 80 years of an Iranian family whose story is told in three voices and lengthy chapters. Moud—whose story is told in the year 2019, initially in Los Angeles—is a gay Iranian American teenager who has a boyfriend. His mother is dead, his father quiet and withdrawn, and he is afraid to tell his father about his sexuality. Moud's father Saeed's story takes place in 1978 where his participation in a demonstration in Tehran puts his life in danger, so his father sends him to Los Angeles to live with a grandmother he has never met. The third voice, that of Bobby in LA in 1939, gives the backstory of what it was like to be gay then, and of his mentoring Saeed's father, and Moud's Iranian grandfather, in accepting his sexuality. The grandfather, Baba, and the issues of being gay during dangerous times, are the links that join the three narratives. When Moud travels with his father to Tehran because Baba is ill and dying, the interconnection of family and their individual stories becomes evident. The book paints an informative and interesting picture of a family, of acceptance, and of taking chances when being who you are is dangerous. The four main characters (because Baba must be included, even though he is not a narrator) are well drawn, compelling, and strong. VERDICT While probably more appealing to older teens and new adults because of the ages of the characters, the strength of the writing warrants this book a strong recommendation.—Janet Hilbun

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