Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: The Margaret Thatcher School of Beauty (April 2019) Athenaeum Book Club pick 2019

By Marsha Mehran

April 17, 2019

Set in Buenos Aires during the Falklands War.  The Margaret Thatcher School of Beauty is the story of a group of displaced Iranian refugees living in a multi-level Beaux Arts building in the city centre.

The inhabitants of the building form an eclectic community: a poetry-loving ex-prisoner and his daughter, a promising medical student; a visionary beautician; a newlywed couple with a dark past; a young revolutionary; an eccentric pilgrim of Mecca; and at the heart of the group Zadi Heirati, a single mother struggling to make ends meet at the beauty salon she operates from her apartment.

Drawn together by a revolution in their homeland, they find solace in weekly poetry meetings.  The words they share inspire each to turn inward and discover beauty long buried.

As a new war unfolds in their adopted country, this group of disenchanted individuals begins to form a family.  At once familiar and extraordinary, this moving story weaves disparate lives together into a tapestry of unique grace, wit and lyricism.

 

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