What Others Are Saying

Seal-FinalistB200Ranked #8 in 50 Great Writers You Should be Reading.

Read the Amazon and goodreads.com reviews

San Francisco Book Review
“This is an elegant, endearing, and scarifying exploration of both the crudities of fundamentalism and the redeeming nature of love. Nahid Sewell was born in Iran, and raised in the United States, with frequent visits to her homeland. She shares her grasp of the graciousness and breadth of Iranian culture, while delving into the realities of the gender divide in that now benighted realm. Employing flashback technique better than I have ever seen it used, she maintains the immediacy of her story line while educating her readers.The protagonist is Leila, whose much beloved childhood is in a richly privileged family. As she passes nine years of age, fundamentalist sexual adulthood, she discovers constraints on her behavior and associations, not only imposed by more fundamentalist cousins, but by her own mother. Narrowly escaping an arranged marriage, she attends college in the states, finding love with a Christian man, whose own brand of fundamentalism takes him from her arms.The Iran-Iraq war kills her brother and protector, turns her father against the Khomeini degradation and ultimately forces him to flee Iran. Leila, in a loveless abusive marriage after all, is seized and imprisoned in Evin, the Lubyanka of Iran. Her tortures and eventual escape to happiness are heart wrenching and heart warming. This is a classically necessary book. I urge you to read it.”

Midwest Book Review
To 1970s Iran, you are not your own woman, but instead a pawn of the men around you. “The Ruby Tear Catcher” is the story of an Iranian woman jailed for her father’s political beliefs in the 1970s. Leila recalls a simpler time of her youth and how she falls into being punished for the sins of another. Drawing on the author’s own experiences, “The Ruby Tear Catcher” is a fascinating read, very highly recommended.

David Ohlsen, Electric Literature
“This simple idea, of establishing everydayness from what is to us a ‘foreign’ perspective, contains the tolerance she (Sewell) wants us to learn, because her life, and the love she has uncovered …, represents the interconnectedness that our two cultures at times attempt to deny.”

Kay Day, Writer Magazine
“Leila experiences love, imprisonment and rape, and ultimately redemption in a novel that is best described as a page-turner. Sewell never succumbs to hyperdrama, but rather uses strong skills as a storyteller to evoke empathy in the reader.”

Zoraida Sambolin, CNN Early Start, New York
“Being a part of Leila’s intensely personal journey and witnessing the collapse of her country and life through her eyes is what I will remember most. Sewell’s writing is magical.”

Kathryn Koob, Former 1979 Iran Hostage
“This book can be appreciated on many different levels. I read the book first as someone who has wonderful Iranian friends, whose sense of family is something I love, secondly as an observer of the post-revolution fervor and my own time as a hostage, and finally as a great love story. I am grateful for the look into the private lives of the little girl Leila and her family. I hurt with every blow to Leila when she was imprisoned, and I wondered whether the social worker who finally came to her was the same one who checked that Ann and I had everything we needed. What was most powerful for me, though, was when Leila finally learned who had arranged her release, which affirmed for her that family still matters so much. You have written a wonderful story, full of much passion and compassion.”

Linda Harty Executive Editor, Penton Media, System iNEWS Magazine
“With the world worried about terrorism, and its cultures becoming increasingly less tolerant and more fearful of each other, Nahid Sewell’s novel puts a face on the victims — all of us, actually — and demonstrates how we’re all so much more similar than we are different. This story gives a voice to many of the thoughts I’ve had about extremism and religion but have never been able to articulate so beautifully. It’s a story that has stuck with me, and I’ve found myself thinking of Leila since I finished the novel, wishing that the story had kept going.”

John Daly, Distinguished Professor, University of Texas
“Once I started reading this extraordinary book, my weekend plans were ruined because I couldn’t put it down. It’s an unforgettable story. The writing is splendid, the characters rich, and the history it relates both fascinating and frightening. It’s filled with suspense and passion. This engaging story of love lost and found has it all: romance, family drama, cultural clashes, all set in the historic upheavals of the modern Middle East. It’s also a cautionary tale of how organized religion can so easily spawn hatred and terror. It reminds us of how something so vital to so many people throughout the world can so easily be turned into something that traps and destroys. Even today, a week after reading it, I find myself wondering what has happened to the characters I came to know and care about.”

Robert S. Tipton, Author, JUMP! Get Unstuck
“Nahid Sewell’s The Ruby Tear Catcher is a timely, powerful, and highly relevant novel. Not just because of her raw, honest, and emotional depiction of the oppression forced upon women in her native Iran, but also because of her courage to hold all fundamentalists — regardless of their stripe — accountable for using religion as the justification for heinous acts of violence, and for inflicting pervasive fear and mind control over their followers. This is a beautiful book that inspires us to look beyond our barriers, our borders, and our biases — to find love, hope, and courage even in the most difficult of situations.”

Scott Klement, Penton Media, System iNEWS magazine
“This book is about an Iranian woman named Leila, her experiences with religion and how the changes in Iran (when Ayatollah Khomeini came into power) affected her. It makes some strong statements about the evils of religious fundamentalism, and reinforces that people are people, no matter where they live. In some ways, this book reminded me of Anne Frank’s Diary. This was a great book, I really enjoyed it. Sewell’s writing style makes this book very easy to read. When I read novels, I usually have a hard time getting started because of the effort of becoming acclimated to the author’s writing style — but that was no problem here! I was almost immediately engrossed in this story, and as the others have said, I found it hard to put the book down.”