I don’t know that I know how to talk about this book except that GOSH it’s amazing and good and powerful and I am so glad it exists and I can’t wait for more people to have the chance to read it!
At its core, Only This Beautiful Moment is a story of family and community, of fighting for your beliefs and also learning who you are and want to be. Told across three generations, Moud, Saeed, and Bobby are each discovering their history and how that has shaped them, even the way things they learn later impact them unwittingly. They are each struggling with their place in the world, politically and socially, and finding the people who love and support them and help them on their way.
I really don’t know how to talk about this book, except that it gave me a lot of feelings and a lot of thoughts. There is always this call for more (or only) happy queer stories, but I think this is a prime example of why we don’t necessarily need *happy* stories but *hopeful* stories are vital. There is so much pain that each of them experiences, and so much trauma in the ways they have to hide themselves for their safety, but that doesn’t erase the communities they find and build that allow them to resist and thrive – not merely survive. I also loved the ways, specifically, it shows the cyclical experiences of queerness and how even as people in power try to make and keep us invisible, we still exist. Seeing the contrast yet similarities of Moud and Bobby’s experiences, 80 years apart, hit a particular spot in my heart. And this also explores the intersectionality of identities and how cultural identity impacts experiences of other identities. This was especially explored with Moud and his (white American) boyfriend and the ways Shane thought he knew all and best, and would get upset when Moud described his experiences in America as performing for social media while in Iran he was living in the moment because any documentation was dangerous.
This book needs to be read. I am so full of emotions and I’m finding it difficult to be wholly coherent beyond this is a book that feels vital and I cannot wait for others to have the opportunity to read it and fall in love with this complex family!