The Story of a Return (Persepolis #2)
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.
The author did a great job of taking what was probably a retched time in her life and making it both humorous and believable. She did not take away from her experiences with her witty remarks, but she did not share all of the gut-wrenching details either.
What I found myself really enjoying this time around is how Marji both lost and found herself between the pages of Persepolis 2. It was also an eye opener in that I now understand why some cultures are so against the West and our "decadence" after seeing the extent Marji went to fit in. It must be a horrible feeling to lose what makes you you in order to fit in, only to find that you still don't truly belong. (Okay, to be fair, don't most teenagers go through some extent of this growing up? I know it's part of the process, but Marji went through an extreme version.)
But Marji has amazing parents that realize she is the daughter they raised. She is outspoken, independent, and not a coward. Marji just needed a bit of a push to remember that. When she does realize her place and purpose in the world, she becomes an amazing force. I really wish this story continued on because I want to know more. I was just in awe the entire time. I could write more, but I would start babbling over all the connections and comments I wrote down while reading. The pages were filled with insight, but it wouldn't be fair to try to squeeze it all into a few paragraphs in this review. Again, just like with Persepolis, this is a must read.