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Friday, June 22, 2012

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

Author: Marjane Satrapi
Title:Persepolis: The Story of Return
Publication: August 22, 2005
Publisher: Pantheon
Genre:  Memoir, Historical, Graphic Novel
Audience: 13 and up
Rating: 3 out 5
Source: College Library
Goodreads Synopsis:
Marjane Satrapi dazzled us with her heartrending memoir-in-comic-strips about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Here is the continuation of her fascinating story. In 1984, Marjane flees fundamentalism and the war with Iraq to begin a new life in Vienna. Once there, she faces the trials of adolescence far from her friends and family, and while she soon carves out a place for herself among a group of fellow outsiders, she continues to struggle for a sense of belonging.Finding that she misses her home more than she can stand, Marjane returns to Iran after graduation. Her difficult homecoming forces her to confront the changes both she and her country have undergone in her absence and her shame at what she perceives as her failure in Austria. Marjane allows her past to weigh heavily on her until she finds some like-minded friends, falls in love, and begins studying art at a university. However, the repression and state-sanctioned chauvinism eventually lead her to question whether she can have a future in Iran.
As funny and poignant as its predecessor, Persepolis 2 is another clear-eyed and searing condemnation of the human cost of fundamentalism. In its depiction of the struggles of growing up—here compounded by Marjane’s status as an outsider both abroad and at home—it is raw, honest, and incredibly illuminating.

My thoughts:
I did not read the second book right away, but it was easy to remember where the last book left me hanging. This book picks up, but not where you think it would. Time has passed and Satrapi is doing her best to catch the reader up to speed. Life in Europe was not what she expected it to be. Also, he parents unfortunately are not there to help her develop in a teen or young adult. She is sent from one place to another due to limited space, behavior issues, and her happiness. Due to her homesickness and other various reasons, Satrapi reaches rock bottom, to the point that it almost kills her. She had her freedom in Europe, but when she comes home it is taken away from her. I enjoyed this book, but it seemed more predictable because of foreshadowing and you come to know Satrapi. I understand this was what her life was like and it wasn't a happy time for her, but I felt like there was a lot of pent of teenage/young adult angst. It drove me nuts. I wanted her to get over her situation and make the best of it. When she returns to Iran she has to learn the ways of life to which she was not exposed to. When her freedom is taken from her, that's when I truly started pitying her. Overall, I recommend it. If for anything, it is a very fascinating first hand account on the Islamic Revolution and what it did to the country of Iran. Plus, Satrapi's rebellious nature is enough to keep anyone from putting the book down. It is a great novel and completes the storyline. If you enjoy the books, there is a movie based on the graphic novels. I have not seen the movie, but I have heard it is good.


  1. I remember seeing previews of the movie a long time ago, it looked dark. Maybe one day I'll watch it or read the books.

  2. I've seen the movie a while ago... it was good. Depressing, but good.

  3. The stories are sad. I thought the first one was the worst, but I had just moved from home and could relate to Marjane. I hear the movie could be a substitute for the graphic novels, but I just decided to read them.