Good things tend to happen when very creative, very intelligent people dig deep within themselves and share their most intimate truths--not as some therapeutic exercise, but as structure for an artistic adventure.
And so it is perhaps not so surprising that Butterfly Stitching is very, very good. Exceptional, in fact.
It does and doesn't matter that this story takes place mostly in Iran, and powerfully explores the realities of three generations of Persians in a time of great upheaval. As compelling as the context is, the true power of Ms. Kruse's storytelling and her prose lies in exposing core truths--of the power of family, of love, and of the limits of integrity. The context and story are themselves captivating, no doubt, But ultimately it is the way her unique characters interact and live their lives--the choices they make and the joys and sorrows they experience--that opens our minds and our hearts, and leaves the reader so much the richer for having picked up this book.
One thing more: as a man, I have rarely read a work so feminine (and feminist) and yet so accessible to me. I could hardly put this book down. If you will pardon the metaphor, the lead character not only discards the veil (hejab) before and after leaving Iran, but Ms. Kruse has lowered a bit that more universal veil that clouds our understanding of women.