At twenty, Sheyda Porrouya’s life is almost over. Born in Iran on the day staunchly orthodox mullas declare the birth of the Islamic Republic, she is witness to their purging of the country of all things Western and un-Islamic. To make matters worse, as she matures, Sheyda seems increasingly unable to distinguish between fairy tale and reality. And her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic. Accused of killing her mother, Sheyda is sentenced to death by hanging. As she awaits either release or execution, the narrative jumps back and forth from Sheyda’s childhood to life in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons.