Home » Book & Literature Review » A Very Large Expanse Of Sea | Tahereh Mafi – Review

A Very Large Expanse Of Sea | Tahereh Mafi – Review

A Very Large Expense Of Sea

Book Review

A Very Large Expanse Of Sea | Tahereh Mafi

Review by Sidra Javed

User Rating: 4.02 ( 1 votes)

A Very Large Expense Of Sea

Tahereh Mafi

Review by Sidra Javed

I picked this A Very Large Expense Of Sea randomly off the shelf. Never read Tahereh Mafi before, but as I started reading it was hard to put it down. I over-read my 30 minutes strict rule with this one. The story is very simple and the characters are straightforward. But then the story is one thing and the treatment of it is another. The writer did treat it amazingly.
A Very Large Expense Of Sea is story of Shirin who is a highschool student. Her parents migrated from Iran in search of a better future in America. Shirin and her brother Navid are forced to lead two lives. They have to adjust to a different culture, lifestyle, values and norms outside of their home to fit among peers. While they portray a true Iranian at heart holding the values and norms dearly at home to satisfy parents.
Her brother Navid is doing a better job at this. While Shirin is being caged inside herself. She becomes increasingly bitter and isolated. Being a hijabi she refuses to let go, is a big hurdle as well. After 9/11 the situation became even worse. Once the bullying becomes increasingly brutal, her parents start moving from city to city in search of a more tolerant neighbourhood. The narratives of A Very Large Expense Of Sea is interesting.


Shirin spends her time hiding in bathrooms or libraries of schools. She finds her way among bullies. The way she handles situations is very inspiring. People always look at her with a certain bias. She realises that there is a terrorist slogan pasted on her forehead. However, she embraces her loneliness wholeheartedly. Ultimately she cuts off the outside noise under loud music blasting from her headphones. There is occasional relief as well in the form of a break dancing club she joins with her brother and his friends. One such ray of hope is Ocean James . His kindness and persistence slowly wins her over.


Although it’s exhilarating yet Shirin is very much aware of the hurdles. She has a clear idea how this will end. She is very open and practical in her approach. After reading it, I wish all teenagers have the similar clarity of approach. The setting is highschool but Tahereh touched very serious issues relatable to all. Racism and its impact, parenting styles, make or break children and generation gap. Above all the true essence of A Very Large Expense Of Sea is love. It brings out the best even if it’s fleeting. Absolutely loved the way Shirin defends being a hijabi. Her outlook towards life is new and refreshing. This book took my heart. I totally recommend it.

Previous review by Sidra Javed, عشق عبودیت

About Sidra Javed

Sidra Javed is a home maker yet reading enthusiast. She loves reading different genres and likes to share her views with others, hoping this will inspire others to take up reading books. On the contrary she's interested in Calligraphy and Art too. She loves adding creativity and delicacy in food.

One comment

  1. I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit this webpage on regular basis to get updated from latest information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *