By Abdi Nazemian
Available now from Curtis Brown Digital
Kara and Babak, called Bobby, have been living together for years. Now that Kara is turning thirty, Bobby's parents are upping the pressure for them to get married and have kids. The only problem is that Kara really is just Bobby's roommate; they let his traditional Persian parents think otherwise so that Bobby can stay in the closet. It helps that she loves his family's traditions.
I swung back and forth on whether I liked THE WALK-IN CLOSET. I laughed quite a bit, and enjoyed the peek into the lifestyle of Tehrangeles. One of the themes of the novel is that both Kara and Bobby need to grow up. Their immaturity can make parts of THE WALK-IN CLOSET a difficult read. For instance, when Kara confronts her ex-boyfriend and he gives her some lame philosophical line about her inability to have multiple relationships, she decides that he's right and she should just have some casual sex. Thus, she has Bobby set her up a profile on Craigslist. Craigslist.
(And let's not even get into the scene where Kara tells a man that only women can use "No means no." I probably would've stopped the book there if I wasn't reviewing it.)
These attempted hookups lead Kara to Kyle, a man she can see herself having a relationship with. Her continued relationship with Kyle and the pressure from Bobby's parents push her to finally confront what she wants and to stop being complacent about her life. It's a bit of well-needed character development, but the pressure definitely gets to Kara.
THE WALK-IN CLOSET is fairly fun if you accept the heightened reality and the arrested development of the characters. The final twist is fairly telegraphed, but it still added a strong plotline that the book needed. This was a good enough summer read, but I prefer something somewhat more mature.