Forced Circumstances tells the story of a young 22-year old British woman living in 1960s Iran, bringing together a fragmented family amidst the turmoil of the Shah’s rule.
Married to an Iranian man with two children from a previous marriage, our bold protagonist takes on the complex role of stepmother to kids unaccustomed to affection or stability. Navigating traditions requiring full body coverings and forbidding women to venture out alone, she faces intense challenges as a conspicuous foreigner subject to contempt and harassment.
Did she quietly harbour regrets over tying her fate to such complications instead of a more comfortable English life? Would the eruption of Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran’s Islamic Revolution provide the leverage needed to hold their Jewish family together? Or drive them further toward resentment and dysfunction in a now-perilous homeland?
Relating this family’s ambitions, sacrifices, and conflicts across clashing societal upheavals, the memoir serves up lessons in perseverance and perspective. It illuminates the timeless experiences that unfold when different cultures combine under a single roof - and what it truly takes to transform that awkward juxtaposition into a nurturing sense of home.