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On Loving Kindle Edition
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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.
"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 Reviewmidwestbookreview.com/sbw/jul_19.htm#fiction
About the Author
- 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
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,089,646 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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In “On Loving,” author Lili Naghdi grants her readers a true and raw perspective of the life of Dr. Rose Hemmings-Bakhtiarti, a phenomenal medical surgeon that has yet to experience true love. After losing her father Dr. William Hemmings, she learned that she was adopted and felt more than ready to learn about her roots. Through her encounters and always providing love and guidance to those in need, she had no idea just how much love and loss she would experience along the way. Losing the lives of everyone she loved along her journey, it was a gift to learn that her birth parents were an Iranian version of Romeo and Juliet. The love she had for both men at different times of her life opened the doors to be truly loved and appreciated out of being vulnerable and accepting. Dean Taylor, an architect and Siyavash Bakhtiari, Rose’s grandfather’s right hand, both showed how to love in their own special way. This book demonstrates that love comes in many forms and not everyone would get the opportunity to witness it in their lifetime. There’s so much one can learn from reading this book, including the literary and poetry aspects involved, that conveyed emotions in an expressive way.
Reading the life story of Dr. Rose Hemmings-Bakhtiarti, gave me a sense of hope that one day I might get to embrace a proper love from a gentleman in my future, as she was around my age and haven’t a clue what love was, in the beginning. I felt a connection to her in a way that made her seem like an older mentor, expressing how she lived her life and took everything as a lessoned learned. There was a handful of loss in her lifetime and I truly felt for her but commended her for all the times she wanted to give up, she always had someone to bring her back to having faith that everything will work out. I highly recommend anyone who needs an idea of how loving and being loved by the same person can truly change you for the better.
The shooting happened in a bar in New York, an open place which had other people present. It’s not the shooting that mesmerized me, it’s the events that happened later. Dr. Rose and this stranger’s lives got interlinked in the most bizarre way ever. I must admit I did not see that coming. I have to give it to the author for one thing; she is a creative genius. There is no part of the book that had a bland story. Everything the author wrote about was interesting. Lili Naghdi knows how to curve her words and bring out the best in storytelling. I enjoy how she told the story, sometimes making the reader visualize what was happening by describing things vividly. Her writing style is excellent.
I absolutely loved reading about Dr. Rose’ journey to Iran. I wanted to virtually accompany her because the experience she had in prerevolutionary Iran was one of a kind. Though her trip to Iran may have been exciting, whatever she found there was nothing close to what I was expecting. By visiting the country, Dr. Rose got to know about her family’s deep secrets. It was like opening Pandora's Box. During her trip back to the US, I took her personality and tried to make some decisions on her behalf as she seemed to be in a dilemma. I love that the author added this bit in a story, as it made us see that one can love someone, only for the person loved to care for someone else. This was Dr. Rose and the two men. Her last interaction with her ailing father was emotional. I also loved her dad because he would often recite beautiful poems to her.
This book is about love. In one chapter, the author recalls how in high school her literature teacher asked them to define love by how they had encountered it in their lives. Even as other students chuckled at the topic, the author had a rather interesting answer when it was her turn to speak. She said that she had been thinking about it but never experienced love. I applaud her honesty. It is true that everyone’s idea of love differs from others. Later in the book I fully got to understand why Dr. Rose gave that particular answer. She was also unlucky because at some point she had mental health issues and challenges with her physical health. I admired her character regardless. This is a great read for people who have been loved before and want to share the love they have.
Top reviews from other countries
Lili Naghdi did a great job supplying the reader with facts on Irani and French cultures. This helps dive into the outlined atmosphere and makes one believe one is actually in a country described, siting next to the locals and watching the main characters from aside. Yet, at times, it feels like the author is overloading the book with cultural or political facts, that have absolutely no impact on the events described, turning romantic fiction novel into an academic paper, that is converted back into the romantic novel in the fallowing chapter.
While the information overload bothered me a bit, I could not shake the feeling that the characters should have been explored deeper.
Throughout the book there are plenty of occasions when a character does something, that. according to one’s previously described characteristics, one should not do, without giving any deep explanation on what have made one to act in a certain way. Moreover, although the author is trying very hard to persuade the reader that the characters have different backgrounds, values and mindsets, they somehow end up looking all the same, making the book less interesting and believable.
Still, in my opinion, this book will be a great catch for all the teenage / young adult romance lovers out there. This story might be not the most realistic one, but we all want to run away from reality and have a simple and quick read. And this book does the trick. I’ve read the 600 pages in 5 days. And though I would not reread it, I certainly don’t regret of reading it.
It's been 45 years since she met him. It's been 45 years of what ifs. It's been 45 years of why did it have fo be her.
Rose is an Iranian adopted by an American couple when she was just a baby. She knows nothing about her birth parents but when she receives permission and blessings from her father at his deathbed to go find out about them, she decides to journey to Iran without the knowledge of her mother.
It's the year 1972 and Dr Rose Hemmings' life changed when a stranger is shot in front of her and her friend Jen at a bar.
Fate played a cruel game wuth her when the stranger becomes the person who would help her on her quest to find out about her parents. The reason why he was shot at affects their relationship.
Rose goes through a lot during this journey. The decisions she has to make affect her life both in Iran as well as the United States.
Not only does she find out the story of her parents and her heritage, but she finds her own true love, or so she thinks.
Have you watched Titanic? TFIOS? Did you cry?
If yes then this is the book for you.
If you've been in love, this book is for you.
If you've been in love with more than one person at the same time, this book is for you.
The author takes us back in time and makes us experience love in a new light.
The inclusion of poetry was beautiful as it was not too cliche and added to the value of the storytelling.
The various struggles and losses that Rose has to go through makes it relatable as they are problems that everyone faces. As Rose's character progresses from someone being only focused on work to someone learning to love, it's pretty amazing.
"The Stranger" on the other hand is someone I don't like. He's a nice guy overall but some of his actions are downright irritating.
There are so many compliments I want to give and things I want to say but that will ruin the surprises in this book.
I rate this a 95/100.
Contact ne to purchase this book.
The young doctor Rose counts herself lucky for being able to have experienced two strong loves in her life. Her loves are not without pain: there is much loss, needless suffering and heartbreak littered in these pages as she looks to find not only herself, but to find that love just for her. She is a strong, independent woman which she demonstrates when she is unexpectedly left to raise her children alone. She does so without sacrificing her career, which is a point of excellence within this book. The way Naghdi writes about love like she is an artist painting on a canvas comes out not only in the words she chooses, but the smatterings of poetry that are found throughout the novel. Naghdi often uses these excerpts to accentuate a point her characters are trying to make, and it comes out quite well.
There are a few pieces of contention, however. This book is told from the first-person perspective, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, however the over use of exclamation points is exhausting. Everything has an exclamation point, even if it’s not something that should be emphasized with one. It’s not just restricted to Rose’s dialogue either which makes it even more grating to see. The only other issue is that one of Rose’s main love interests comes across as nothing more than a selfish, self-absorbed man right up to the very last page.
Exclamation points and bad lovers aside, On Loving by Lili Naghdi is a beautiful tale of two very opposite experiences with love that one woman finds herself wrapped up in. It’s a testament to the fact that humans can love more than once and that no love is ever the same as another.
One of the best things about this story is that while it is a love story, it isn’t just a love story about a man. Of course, there is the cliche “love triangle” in this story; however, this story discusses the romance of life and family more than anything.
In this novel, Dr. Rose Hemmings is faced with her adoptive father’s death. She is then sent to Iran, where she discovers a new family. She also discovers that she is the heiress to an entire tribe. She finds a man who loves her deeply; meanwhile, there is another man who she loves completely back home. This is where the cheesy love triangle comes in. That said, the love triangle does not overrun other aspects of the story.
Love is a common theme within the book and the reader can see that from an early age, Rose Hemmings is asked to define love. She travwls to Iran after her adoptive father dies, a man whom she associates with a love for literature.
Unlike most novels, this one follows Rose through decades. The reader has the opportunity to experience Rose’s marriage and the deep connection she has with Dean. The two grow and change together. They even have children. Unfortunately, not all love is meant to last and they separate tragically.
Another common theme in this book is the duality of life and death. This is shown when Rose’s father dies, and she discovers a brand new life in Iran. This is shown throughout her continous experiences with death; wherein. The reader is forced to question how this character keeps going through the tragedy.
By the end of the novel, the answer to this is simple and it is written in its very title: love. By the end, Rose reflects on her life and how far she has come. While she has gone through hardships, she finds relief in the happiness that she found. After looking back on her life, this is what she sees.
With this novel, Lili Naghdi manages to twist classic plot lines to serve the greater purpose and theme of the novel rather than making them what the entire novel is about. Overall the book was uplifting.