The Walk-In Closet
Curtis Brown Digital
So, anyone who watches Bravo knows about Tehrangeles, which is the name given to the large Iranian/Persian community that lives in L.A., the largest group of Iranians living in the same city outside of Iran. The show Shahs of Sunset follows a group of people in this world of wealth, excess, family, and culture. Abdi Nazemian's The Walk-In Closet finds one quiet corner of Tehrangeles to explore, and does so through the eyes of a young white woman who has gotten deeply involved with a Persian family in this humorous and snappy novel.
Kara Walker is approaching 30, and has been living with her gay BFF Bobby (aka Babak Ebadi) for years. It's said and reiterated in this book that in Persian-American society, it's better to sweep uncomfortable subjects under the rug, and it seems Bobby's sexuality is not a comfortable subject for him in the context of his family. They've been close for so long that the family just assumes they are boyfriend and girlfriend, and Bobby's fabulous mother is grooming Kara to be the mother of her future grandbabies.
Kara has never confirmed or denied this assumption. She accepts the gifts her "mother-in-law" gives her and even thinks occasionally that a lifetime with Bobby wouldn't be the worst fate. Bobby has no interest in a long-term relationship with a guy- he prefers sex with no strings attached. Kara hasn't dated for a long time and is hung up on an ex-boyfriend, so Bobby talks her into trying some online hookups the way he does. And that's where this book starts to get really entertaining! There are a few different social situations played for comic relief, and a deepening relationship with one of the hookups that has unintended consequences.
This book has a major twist, and I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that if you read this book, come back and let me know what you think about the twist. I was pretty shocked by what it was, and I wasn't sure it was totally necessary. But I can say that I had a lot of fun reading The Walk-In Closet, twist or no. If you are into entertainment, Bravo, higher end reality shows, gay culture or just looking for a smart beach read, it's highly recommended.