Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers:
“With elegance and grace, Ms. Assefi maps her bereaved heroine’s flight through numerous countries and into the uncharted territory of grief. Sometimes raw, sometimes clinically detached, Aria is always human, and in the end, it soars.”
Rory Stewart, author of The Places In Between and The Prince of the Marshes:
"A haunting book, painfully open in its emotions, enacting in lyrical prose, an Iranian-American's loss, atonement and reconciliation with Iran and powerfully revealing of the discordancies and echoes that define the interaction between American and Persian culture."
Rebecca Brown, author of ten books including The Gifts of the Body, The Last Time I Saw You, and Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary:
"How long does grief last? How far away can we run to try to get away from it? What happens if it stays with us forever? In this wise and compassionate debut novel, Nassim Assefi looks at questions of memory, love and grief as she takes us to Tibet, China, Guatemela, her homeland Iran and, most importantly, the human heart."
Rabbi Michael Goldberg, PhD, hospice chaplain, university professor, author of many books including Raising Spirits: Stories of Suffering and Comfort at Death's Door:
"Aria is without doubt one of the most realistic accounts of grieving I have read, and certainly, the most exquisitely literate."
John Marshall, book critic of The Seattle Post Intelligencer:
Aria "beguiles with its honesty, humanity, empathy and insight... a small gem of a debut novel that manages to address huge issues in an affecting manner, from the immigrant experience in America to the aftershocks of tragedy to the search for family heritage and spiritual comfort." Click here to read the entire review.
Bharti Kirchner of The Seattle Times:
"It is the charm, intelligence and dignity of Assefi's writing that make this a worthwhile read."
Bob Willliams of The Compulsive Reader Book Blog:
"There is much of talent in this remarkable book. It is a serious meditation on the greatest misfortune in life and an interesting display of the growth of the persons involved. It gains a certain topicality in the abundance of material from a part of the world little known or understood. Thus Aria stands out as notable achievement and should appeal to many discriminating readers." Click here to read the entire review.
Lindsey Rowe of Seattle Magazine:
"Assefi's writing is packed with potent emotion and poetic sentences...Aria is an excellent first novel and a worthy treatise on grief."