I read House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III. This story is one of classic tragedy which also contains a nearly unbearable amount of suspense. It tells a story of the conflict between people of different races who have an inability to understand each other. They each want possession of a small house in the California hills but for very different reasons.
On one side, there is Kathy Nicolo and Sheriff Lester Burdon who want the house from which Kathy was evicted. It previously belonged to Kathy's father and she is reluctant to relinquish possession of it. Then there is the Behranis, a Persian family who was forced to flee to America in fear of their lives. They want the house because it symbolizes their rise from poverty (they had to leave everything behind and were quite poor when they arrived in the United States) back to affluence which, to this family, will help to restore their family's dignity, lost when thrust into poverty. The story centers on gaining possession of the house. Unknowingly, all of these characters are doomed to tragedy by their inability to understand each other, hurtling down an explosive collision course.
The main characters in this story are Sheriff Lester Burdon, Kathy Nicolo, Massoud Amir Behrani, Mrs. Behrani, and their son, Esmail Behrani. Lester has a very soft spot in his heart for battered and abandoned women, an outlook that Burdon attributes to his father's having left his mother when Lester and his brother were teenagers. Kathy is a house cleaner who had inherited the house from her father, but lost it because she couldn't afford the mortgage. She is a genuinely kind person, but is very arrogant and bull-headed sometimes. Mr. Behrani is a former colonel in the Imperial Air Force of Iran. Behrani served Shahanshah Reza Pahlavi faithfully and effectively until the Shah's overthrow in 1979, which also destroyed the privilege, power, wealth, and position of people like Colonel Behrani. He is very wise but has...
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