Only This Beautiful Moment

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. May 2023. 400p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063039377.
Gr 9 Up–This complex book spans three generations and 80 years of an Iranian family whose story is told in three voices and lengthy chapters. Moud—whose story is told in the year 2019, initially in Los Angeles—is a gay Iranian American teenager who has a boyfriend. His mother is dead, his father quiet and withdrawn, and he is afraid to tell his father about his sexuality. Moud’s father Saeed’s story takes place in 1978 where his participation in a demonstration in Tehran puts his life in danger, so his father sends him to Los Angeles to live with a grandmother he has never met. The third voice, that of Bobby in LA in 1939, gives the backstory of what it was like to be gay then, and of his mentoring Saeed’s father, and Moud’s Iranian grandfather, in accepting his sexuality. The grandfather, Baba, and the issues of being gay during dangerous times, are the links that join the three narratives. When Moud travels with his father to Tehran because Baba is ill and dying, the interconnection of family and their individual stories becomes evident. The book paints an informative and interesting picture of a family, of acceptance, and of taking chances when being who you are is dangerous. The four main characters (because Baba must be included, even though he is not a narrator) are well drawn, compelling, and strong.
VERDICT While probably more appealing to older teens and new adults because of the ages of the characters, the strength of the writing warrants this book a strong recommendation.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing