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On Loving by [Lili Naghdi]
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On Loving Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"2020 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Winner in Romance- General"
On Loving is a work of fiction in the romance and drama sub-genres and was penned by author Lili Naghdi. Cross-cultural and powerfully emotive from the get-go, this novel begins in 1972 and takes us through the tumultuous life of protagonist Dr. Rose Hemmings. Encouraged by the blessing of her adopted father, Rose travels and explores Iran to uncover her Persian heritage, and there she finds a man who loves her with a passion she's never known. The problem is, Rose already feels deeply connected with another man back in New York City, one whom tragedy brought to her and whom she feels her life will never be separate from.
This is a work that swallows you whole into its deep tapestry of cultural beauty, making you think about love, companionship and the human need for closeness from entirely new angles and viewpoints. In the story itself, Rose is a well-developed figure who gives us confidence as she heads out to explore her heritage, only to be very emotively shaken by what she finds. These peaks and troughs of emotion are brought to life consistently and realistically in author Lili Naghdi's prose, weaving a plot which brings romantic turmoil to the fore alongside important issues of mental and physical health. On top of this is the conceptual layer with its poignant philosophy and the uncovering of the mythologies of love, which is the part that really stays with you long after you close the book. On Loving is a highly accomplished and recommended romance read.
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

"The Prairies Book Review"
"Naghdi's razor-sharp account of the complex inner lives of her protagonists and her poetic rendering of the rich Persian literature make for an intense read ..."
"That I can be with you, you, all of you,
And if life repeated a thousand times,
Still you, you, and again, you."
Lili Naghdi's debut novel is rich, emotionally urgent portrayal of a woman's life and the two love stories that mark it along with the exploration of the rich Persian Literature. After completing her surgery residency, the narrator Dr. Rose Hemmings decides to travel to Iran to learn about her birth parents. Secretly in love with Dean, a damaged man who is struggling with chronic depression and unable to reciprocate her feelings, Rose meets handsome Siyavash, his cousin, in Iran and their lives become intertwined. 
In a sure, accomplished prose, Naghdi parse the delicate feelings of being in love and beautifully describes the way love makes a person helpless. But more than that, Naghdi's special gift to readers is her depiction of Rose's life, especially the two love stories that mark it. Her description of the feverish period of Rose's early life in New York and Paris and the restlessness, the trepidation, the hopelessness that accompany it, is both tender and sensual. The intrigue, the confusion, and the sweeping passion that eventually becomes a part of Rose's stay in Iran are depicted beautifully.The years of Rose's blissful, intense marriage are as impressive as the early heartbreaking years of her hopeless love. 
With an eye for emotional and moral ambiguities, Naghdi successfully creates winning characters: Siyavash, the ultimate lover--dashing, charming, and incredibly sexy with a real hero's demeanor, is endearing. He has more than charm and dash--he is as selfless as one can be;Dean is more an antihero than a hero (for the most part at least), but equally charming; Rose is impressive. Naghdi handles the book's pacing and tone with accomplished skill. However, the intensity of Dean's passion (in the last part)is an echo of Siyavash's passion and seems a bit over the top considering the two men are entirely different people. But that's a minor flaw. 
The satisfying denouement is utterly beautiful and will make Rose's love story stay in the reader's heart for long. The inclusion of the English translations of the great ancient and modern Persian poetry will delight morally serious literature lovers. Naghdi has created a fascinating love story that seems both traditional and contemporary at the same time.
A beautifully written love story.-  The Prairies Book Review"Judge, 27th Annual Writer's Digest  Self-Published Book Awards" 
The story opens with a mournful tone, as we approach the topic of Rose's father dying; we get lovely background on her father and the things he loved, like poetry and literature. We're getting depth of his character, which author wisely presents as a way for us to connect with Rose. It's a natural narrative tool to convey essential information and how it influenced Rose. We then switch from gloomy recollections to feeling the warmth of familiarity and affection with Uncle Frankie. We see a youthful side of Rose, and so much dimension in her interactions. Well done. We're getting some excellent sensory descriptions, such as the 'celestial cologne' that captivates in its description, but overall and as an enduring note throughout the book, I would have loved to see more setting description in great detail. For instance, author writes of a 'huge, dark kitchen' without giving us description and sense details such as any aromas, temperature, shadows, signs of use. A physical space can tell so much about characters. Bringing sensory details to all settings, inside and out, would elevate the story to a great degree, as we could then see where we are, characters can interplay with the space, and it becomes real. In the scenes about presenting gifts of jewels, silk and fabrics to the heir, sensory details would make those items realistic, sparkly. We could feel the cool smoothness of the silk. That's what is needed here. Bring out your setting details and sensory descriptions everywhere. The pace succeeds, and we're shaken by unexpected twists like the postpartum woman who seems fine upon release from the hospital, but ten minutes later throws herself under a truck. I loved that this detail seemed so out of character for the author, and wonderfully so. Now we have some dials turned way up. What's this author going to do next? We're on the edge of our seats. Inner dialogue matches well with inner thought, like wordlessly turning for a peck on the cheek when her inner thoughts are so against it. Well done. The wedding needs sensory details. 'We sent invitations' misses out on the chance to show the invitation design and what that says about the couple. Just a layer of description is all this needs to make the most out of the great storyline and structure."Online Book Club Review"With the recent passing of her beloved adoptive father, Dr. Rose Hemmings is distraught. Her father's final wish was for her to travel to Iran and uncover her roots. Due to a mixture of fear and trepidation, she keeps putting off the trip, but one night changes everything. Rose is compelled to save a stranger who suffers a gunshot wound, and while nursing him back to health, she finds herself drawn to him in a way that she cannot fully comprehend. Dean has an undeniable sadness about him, and Rose fears that if left alone, he could do something irreversible. His therapist recommends that the two travel together; that way, Rose can keep an eye on Dean, and he can support her on this difficult journey.

They travel to Tehran, Iran to meet Rose's extended family, and her feelings for Dean continue to grow. She learns her biological grandfather, Morad Khan, is terminally ill, and she is next in line to be the heir to his power and opulence. This inheritance comes with a catch, of course, in return, she must become a citizen of Iran and marry her cousin Siyavash. She can't possibly leave her life in America. That would mean giving up her career and her burgeoning love for Dean.

On the other hand, her medical expertise could be of great use to the people of Iran, and Siyavash is beginning to worm his way into her heart. Rose has never been in love, and now she finds herself torn between two lovers and two completely different lives. What will she do? One thing is for sure she is about to embark on the most memorable and heart-wrenching journey of her life.

This literary gem was impeccably written; it was like no other book I had ever read. On Loving by Lili Naghdi was a story that transcended your typical romance book and was in a realm all of its own. The book followed the main character Rose as she embarked upon the greatest adventure of all time. Throughout her journey, she was able to experience two great loves that filled but challenged her heart in ways she never knew possible. While the book is long in duration, it felt like moments between reading the first and the last line of the text. This book was a labor of love, and the author's devotion to the story shone through on every page.

The thing I adored most about the book was the evolution of Rose's character. With the story being quite long, the author took her time to develop the main character fully. In the beginning, Rose was portrayed as a no-nonsense doctor that was dedicated to her career. Due to her romantic inexperience, she paid little attention to matters of the heart. Things rapidly changed when she locked eyes with the enigmatic Dean. The author does an excellent job of conveying the desperation that one feels when experiencing love for the first time. As time goes by and Rose suffers the effects of a broken heart, the agony is replaced by the need for stability and loyalty. Siyavash's character showed Rose a different type of love, one that was based on companionship and security.

While Rose's character made a significant impact on me, the supporting characters were quite memorable, as well. Dean was the epitome of a tortured soul. With his desolate gaze and his mysterious demeanor, it's no wonder Rose wanted to take care of him. The way his conflicting feelings for Rose were portrayed made him both lovable and frustrating. While I found Siyavash's arrogance off-putting at first, he quickly became my favorite character. He was confident in his feelings for Rose, and his heart was transparent from the get-go. There were no secrets with him, no ulterior motives. He was an open book in which every page professed his love for Rose. Finally, Borna, Siyavash's mother, was often Rose's shoulder to cry on. She was a beacon of hope and strength on Rose's darkest days and was able to impart her wisdom in a way that Rose understood.

On Loving had no issues with editing, and I can happily say that I found no errors in the book. By the first few pages, I knew I was in love, and I rushed through my responsibilities so that I could spend all of my time in the presence of this literary delight! I have chosen to give the book a rating of four out of four stars, but would give it more if I could!

On Loving would be well-suited to readers who can invest a significant amount of time into reading this book. If you love romance that is infused with quotes and poetry, this book is for you! The book is full of excerpts from inspirational poems by Rumi and Forough Farrokhzad, which adds another layer of beauty into this already breathtaking book.

"Literary Titan"

"What a great book." 

"From an early age Rose Hemmings is asked to define love, a theme that isanalyzed throughout the book and truly encompasses On Loving. Whileat the time she cannot compose a definite response, a single turning point inRose's life has her struggling to find the answer. She continues to questionwhat love means as she narrates the story of her life.
On Loving begins with the tragedy of Rose's beloved father, a manshe attributes her love of literature, and who urges Rose to find the truth ofher birth parents resulting in a spontaneous trip to Iran in search of answers.Just before leaving Rose's world is once again shaken to the core as she comesface to face with a stranger who instantly steals her heart away. In a twist offate, the two fly off to Iran resulting in a storm of emotional chaos involvingfamily, secrets revealed and another man to drastically change Rose's lifeforever.
For blatantly being a romance novel, On Loving rarely rearsthe exotic scenes of lust and passion. Instead, Lili Naghdi illustrates a lovestory shrouded in poetic anecdotes and literary quotes through the eyes of anA-typical surgeon inquiring every aspect of her ever-changing life. The storyof Rose spans decades of heartache and misfortune, deep longing and joyousfulfillment.
However, I could never completely empathize with Rose. She shows all the signsof a well thought out main character, the author thoroughly explored the mindof Rose Hemming detailing all her faults and frustrations. I could tell Naghdiheld Rose close to her heart while writing this book. The story is written inthe first person, and like so, we are bound to watching Rose make decisions thereader might not completely agree with. 
Overcoming these hiccups, I found steady glimpses of genuine understanding forseveral characters. Especially in the second half of the book, Naghdi beautifulvindicates the hurricane of emotions Rose has been building up throughout thestory. Those moments of Rose carefully weighing her judgments, decisions, andfeelings are true bliss. Moreover, the authors' literary insight is phenomenaland while at times the call back to famous authors and poets is overdone, eachexample is carefully chosen perfectly matching the mood of the scene.
Any romantic or literary buff will wholeheartedly enjoy this book. Read thebook and you will understand."

 - Literary Titan

"Midwest Book Review"The Fiction ShelfOn LovingLili Naghdililinaghdi.comTellwell Talent9781999497026, $26.33, HC, 584pp, amazon.comSynopsis: In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora's box.It is a world both foreign and familiar, in which her primary place is as the heiress to a great tribe. In Iran, Rose will find family she never dreamed of, her own people, and a man who loves her as passionately as he does the rare black roses of his garden. She will return to the United States carrying a new secret and torn between two men: the one she loves helplessly, and the one who loves her unconditionally.Woven throughout with Persian poetry ancient and modern, "On Loving" is the story of one woman's lifetime of love and loss, of societal change in a nomadic people, and of overcoming personal challenges, including mental and physical health, to find true contentment. Above all, it is a story of love: its physiology, psychology and philosophy; the many forms it takes; its myths and truths; its challenges, its joys and its gifts.Critique: The author of "On Loving", novelist Lili Naghdi is an Iranian Canadian physician who was born and raised in Tehran. This personal background has endowed her saga of a novel with an authenticity and background detail that another writer would not be able to include. A deftly written and thoroughly engaging read from beginning to end, "On Loving" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "On Loving" is also available in a paperback edition (9781999497002, $18.80) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).- Midwest Book 

About the Author

Lili Naghdi is an Iranian Canadian physician who was born and raised in Tehran. She continued her education and research after moving to Canada with her husband and daughter in 1996. Today she practices family medicine in Vaughan, Ontario, with particular interests in women's and mental health. Being a family physician gives her the privilege of connecting with patients and participating in their care with a deeper understanding of the physical, emotional and social adversities they face. Interacting with people of many different backgrounds has also provided Dr. Naghdi with the opportunity to grow as a person, a physician and an author. Growing up in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran, Lili became fascinated by the magical realm of literature, poetry and history. She began collecting prized quotations at the young age of eight. Dr. Naghdi has written poetry and short stories in both Farsi and English, but she eventually followed William Wordsworth's advice to Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart, and turned to fiction. On Loving is her first novel. Inspired by both the ordinary people she has the honor to support and by the great literature of Persia and the world - from Hafez to Forugh Farrokhzad and from John Steinbeck to Margaret Mitchell - Dr. Naghdi passionately agrees with Boris Pasternak, whose Yuri Zhivago is a physician and patriotic poet, when he writes: Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07NSJLJLZ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tellwell Talent (February 15, 2019)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 15, 2019
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1465 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 586 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 26 ratings

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2019
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Diana Levit
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 3, 2019
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Melina L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
Reviewed in India on September 11, 2019
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Sarah Jayne
4.0 out of 5 stars There is more than one kind of love
Reviewed in Canada on March 29, 2019
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in Canada on June 30, 2019
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2.0 out of 5 stars Forgettable
Reviewed in Canada on June 15, 2020
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