A Door Between Us – The Inspiration

Hi! Thank you for stopping by. The Debs are here to support your experience as a new writer by sharing our own journey toward and through our debut year. Wherever you are on your path, whether you’re staring at a blank page or you just signed your first publishing deal, we’ll be sharing tips and experiences that can inform your next step.

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Now, by way of introduction, I’m just your typical Mormon-Muslim gal from DC, Maryland, Utah, Iran, and California. What? Never met a Mormon-Muslim before? Well, frankly, neither have I other than my five brothers and a dear friend named Jamal.

                      Mom, Baba, and me

Here’s how it happened: Mom and Dad (Baba) met in college. Both were quite religious and that’s what drew them close. At some point, each of them prayed and separately received divine guidance that they should marry. Clearly this meant that the other would eventually convert, right? Well, apparently God (Heavenly Father / Allah) had been misunderstood or else was playing a practical joke since 50+ years later they’re still married and no one has converted yet.

Our family project became about creating a bridge of understanding between two very different communities. This is the guiding ethos behind my writing.

I wrote A DOOR BETWEEN US to create a portal for American audiences to get to know, relate to, and even cheer for people that are often misunderstood and vilified in our mainstream culture. Growing up, it was sometimes jarring to see how friends at church or the masjid spoke about each other. At a national level it’s even more surreal and scary to see politicians move us toward war without giving diplomacy a good faith effort.

In terms of this specific story, the 2009 Iranian election and the Green Wave was, of course, super dramatic and something I followed closely both as an Iranian and as a political scientist. And I wanted to share the experiences of three very different people going through it while also navigating some complex family dynamics.

It is my sincere belief that stories can be a powerful antidote to the dehumanizing and othering of people and can allow us to open a door between cultures so we recognize ourselves in one another. It is my sincere hope that A DOOR BETWEEN US contributes toward this cause. Please, dear reader, let me know if I have succeeded.








P.S. In case you missed it, my book launched this week!! It’s been an incredible couple of days and I’ll share more about the experience in coming weeks and months. In the meantime, If you want to help amplify by, say, sharing my pinned post on Twitter, adding my launch day instagram post to your story, or ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY below that would be awesome. Thank you!



Retweet on Twitter, Share on Facebook or Comment on Instagram for a chance to win this amazing novel! Giveaway ends on Tuesday, so act fast!



Weddings always have their fair share of drama, but this one comes on the heels of the highly controversial 2009 Iranian election and ensuing Green Wave protests.

When the matriarch of Sarah’s family arranged her marriage to Ali, it was with the intention of uniting two compatible families. However, as the 2009 election becomes contentious, political differences emerge and Sarah’s conservative family tries to call off the wedding. Sarah and Ali, however, have fallen in love and, against the wishes of their parents, insist on going through with the marriage.

Sarah’s cousin, Sadegh, is a staunch supporter of the government and a member of the Baseej (the volunteer militia), tasked with arresting protestors and shutting down speech against the regime. Meanwhile, Ali’s sister, Azar, is an activist, a divorce attorney, and a passionate Green Wave supporter, trying to enact change in a way that many Iranians see as inflammatory. When Sarah impulsively shelters a protestor in their car on the drive home from the wedding, she sets off a chain of events that can either unmask the government’s brutality or ruin them all.

Sarah, Sadegh, and Azar’s stories weave together in an unflinching, humorous, and, at times, terrifying, story that demonstrates that, even as the world is falling apart around us, choices matter.

Here’s what others have had to say about A DOOR BETWEEN US:

“A Door between Us is a vivid, thrilling story of clashes and collisions, between tradition and civil liberties, between families, between individuals and institutions, between reform and reaction. With touches of humor, it is also a narrative of rumor, gossip, torture, terror, intrigue, and betrayal after the election of 2009 in Iran. Best of all it is a story of the deep bonds between people, of family ties and spiritual allegiance, and sustaining love, in a period of unrest and horror. You will not forget these scenes and these characters.

— Robert Morgan, NY Times bestselling author of Gap Creek & Chasing the North Star

A deeply compelling story about the struggle for democracy in Iran. The broken dreams of a generation poised for change are brought vividly to life in this powerful and haunting tale.”

— Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of Among the Ruins

A Door between Us is an enthralling story of hope, courage, and the powerful ties that bind families and communities together. Ehsaneh Sadr expertly weaves together three divergent perspectives, offering a gripping and nuanced look at the tumultuous 2009 Iranian election. From start to finish, the story held me rapt, its poignant message of interconnectedness lingering with me long after I turned the last page.”

— Amanda Skenandore, author of Between Earth and Sky










Author: Ehsaneh

Ehsaneh Sadr is an Iranian-American novelist and activist with a PhD in International Relations. She has worked, in various capacities, on campaigns related to Palestinian human rights, Iranian sanctions, access to credit for rural villagers, and safe spaces for children in crisis. She currently works with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to create the cultural and infrastructure changes needed to support a shift away from carbon-based modes of transportation. Ehsaneh currently lives in Northern California with her husband and two children but also considers Washington DC, Salt Lake City, and Tehran to be home.

9 Replies to “A Door Between Us – The Inspiration”

  1. I love Historical fiction and this book is perfect for me. The cultural and religious diversity is the soul of my country,India. So somewhere in my heart I can relate to it. I am super excited to read this gem.

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