Reviewed by Meygan
The year is 1988 and Iran is being ruled by a highly conservative and religious government. Trouble starts when teenage Farrin is caught writing a story about demon hunters during class studies. This is not acceptable behavior and she is forced to explain her actions. Farrin is fed up with constantly being told what to do. Pargol, a girl at Farrin’s school, is obsessive when it comes to ratting out Farrin, Farrin’s mother is persistently critiquing her and making her play the piano for gatherings, and while she has a good relationship with her father, she doesn’t like the way her mother talks to him. Something is incomplete in Farrin’s life and she realizes what it is the day she meets another teenage girl, Sadira.
Farrin and Sadira become best friends and they tell everything to one another. This is why when the right moment comes, Farrin feels comfortable telling Sadira that she has fallen in love with her. Yes, the girls have not only formed an unbreakable friendship, but they are madly in love with one another. In America, homosexuality is still a highly controversial topic. However, in Iran, being gay can result in execution. But Farrin and Sadira love one another and do not care who sees them in their heated moment until when Pargol busts them, leading Farrin and Sadira on a path to destruction.
Moon at Nine is an emotionally powerful book. Although it’s a novel for young adults, it’s based on true events. Perhaps this is why I wanted so badly to reach out and help Farrin and Sadira and try to save them. Otherwise, I had many different emotions. While I laughed and I cried, I felt anger most while reading Moon at Nine. I was happy for Farrin when she found love because I could feel how happy Sadira made her. Not trying to give away any spoilers, but keep a box of tissues close by—you’re going to need them.
While I thought this was an amazing book, it’s not one I’m sure I’ll ever read again because it is so haunting. Deborah Ellis did a wonderful job of approaching issues an LGBT person may experience. I liked the author’s writing style, but do keep in mind that the author takes on the voice of a teenage girl. While Farrin and Sadira are highly intelligent, they are smitten by one another’s company. I highly recommend Moon at Nine. This book has wonderful quotes and such a great insight to what it is like to not only be gay in Iran during 1988, but to be a woman. Moon at Nine will leave you wanting more of Farrin’s story, even if her ending may not be pleasant.