Moonlight on the Avenue

Gina Barkhordar Nahai

One star-studded night, five-year-old Lili witnesses her mother, Roxanna the Angel, sprout wings and vanish into the sky, undisturbed by the rules of gravity. Roxanna leaves no farewell, no word of explanation, no trace of her existence. Lilis subsequent search for her mother - spurred by the tireless efforts of her aunt Miriam the Moon - is at the heart of this mesmerizing epic tale that follows Roxanna, born as a bad-luck child in the harsh Jewish ghetto of Tehran, through the opulent world of Irans aristocracy to the whorehouses of Turkey and beyond, to present-day Los Angeles. At stake are Roxannas hopes for happiness, for escaping the bonds of Old World tradition and finding forgiveness for that most egregious of sins - desire. Weaving together strands of Persian and Jewish culture, Gina Nahai brings to life a courageous circle of women rooted in their homeland but reshaping their lives in America, the land of chances and choices.