Halva, my sweet is the story of a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. The young heroine, Halva, has had a liberal upbringing in Germany after her parents fled Iran during the Revolution. She falls in love with her brother’s friend, Kai Blessing. But the couple’s budding romance is thwarted at every turn by Halva’s parents, who have already promised their daughter in marriage to the son of the man who helped them to escape from Iran a decade earlier.
Halva and Kai meet in secret and communicate via messages hidden in the wrappings of the halva sweetmeats she prepares for her parents’ delicatessen. They plan to elope but a confrontation between their families leads to the arrest of Halva’s brother and the end of his promising legal career. With her parents’ dreams for their son in tatters, Halva feels obliged to save the family’s honour by marrying according to their wishes; but only if she can spend one night in the arms of the man she loves and knows she will never see again …
Author Ellen Alpsten lives in London, and this moving tale of star-crossed lovers attempting to bridge a cultural divide is sure to resonate with readers in English.
All recommendations from Autumn 2012