A Broad Abroad in Iran
by Dodie Cross
CrossRoads Publications

"The thought of living abroad for two years didn't seem that bad. It might be kind of exciting. When I said the word 'abroad'it did sound rather exotic."

Hold onto your stomach and breath deep because you're about to enter the tumultuous world of Iran from 1977 to 1978. Cross takes the reader back more than 30 years to the time when her family left the comfort of their California home and followed her husband to his job in the Middle East.
The city of Esfahan proves challenging. Cross comes up with an ingenious way to sanitize fruits and vegetables. You'll never again look at your washer as just a machine to clean your clothes. Food shopping is a tortuous endeavor, and driving or riding in a taxi is a heart pounding, death defying adventure. Walk with Cross through the cavernous bazaar filled with a warren of shops featuring copper pots, carpets, gold, and wandering farm animals. You'll discover along with Cross the hidden beauty found in the countryside and the wonderful expats and Iranians she met. Cross' children and husband embrace their foreign experience while the author is always on the alert for danger. And trouble finds them. The unrest in the country bubbles over and the family is forced to cut their stay short. Cross describes their departure and the unnerving three hour wait on the airport tarmac before their plane finally takes off. "My eyes burn from fatigue and fear. A trickle of perspiration slides down my spine, as the plane becomes a sauna. Over two hundred people crammed in with no air coming through the vents. We're all breathing each other's fear."
Cross is a compelling writer who keeps the narrative flowing at a nice pace, and she certainly deserves a place amongst other travel memoirs such as Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, Cheryl Strayed's Wild, and Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.

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