By Anat Rosenberg
September 07, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Set in Iran before the Islamic revolution, Gina B. Nahai’s compelling novel depicts one family’s tale of alienation and loss. Raised in Tehran’s Jewish ghetto, Bahar is convinced she will surmount her circumstances to ”become of great consequence.” She ends up marrying Omid, a product of the Jewish upper crust who ”feels disconnected from the people who should matter to him most.” The story of the couple’s life together — and apart — is narrated by their daughter, Yaas, who is attuned to every unfulfilled desire. When focusing on this family of three, Nahai creates a vivid study of a broken home; but when she turns to the rest of her motley collection of characters (including a ghost), Caspian Rain‘s clarity diminishes. B