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t is Iran in 1969. In the house of the mosque, the family of Aqa Jaan has lived for eight centuries. Now it is occupied by three cousins—Aqa Jaan, a merchant and head of the city’s bazaar; Alsaberi, the imam of the mosque; and Aqa Shoja, the mosque’s muezzin. The house teems with life as each family grows up with their own triumphs and tragedies. Sadiq is waiting for a suitor to knock at the door to ask for her hand, while her two grandmothers sweep the floors each morning dreaming of traveling to Mecca. Shahbal longs only to get hold of a television to watch the first moon landing. These daily dramas play out under the watchful eyes of the storks that nest on the rooftop of the house. But this family will experience upheaval unknown to previous generations, for in Iran, political unrest is brewing. The Shah is losing his hold on power; the Ayatollah incites rebellion from his exile in France; and one day the Ayatollah returns—the consequences of which will be felt in every corner of Aqa Jaan’s family. The story of a key period of world history—the Iranian Revolution—is told through the eyes of one family.


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