Soheila Ghodstinat

I was born in Tehran, Iran.
This is my first book, which is a true story based on my own life.
I have changed schools nine times before I got my high school diploma.
I have lived in 30 different places in 6 different countries and 13 different cities.
This experience has enabled to cope with any situation and I am able to communicate with any race or culture.
I strongly believe in being positive and enjoying every second of life.

To order the book please go to:

or, Fiourzeh Foroutan in SF:

or, Ayla Heravi in LA:

or, leyla Malek in Vancouver, Canada:

or, book inc (shop) in SF:

or, sherkate ketab in LA   (Mr. Khalili):

""A Journey to Starland," is a fantastic book by a young Iranian woman about her own personal life and experiences.  We recommend reading this beautiful and very interesting book

In this bittersweet true story, Soheila takes us to a society, where women have to fight for their rights and freedom. She tells us about her darkest secrets and shows us the power of love, trust and strong faith; how true friendship reverses the impossible, and how "miracles do happen". It also includes beautiful artwork by Susie Delshadian and a selection of persian poetry, translated by Maryam Mafi.  To read more please
click here.

Let me leave this world, the world full of hatred and revulsion.
Let me leave this world, the hopeless blind world
Let me travel to your dream.
Let me cry for freedom,
let me travel to eternity
Let me take a journey to the end,
and get drawn in your sweet dream.

A journey to Starland

As a little girl I used to sit and count the stars in the sky,
then, I grew older wanting to learn how to fly.
Got married at a young age,
felt like I was trapped in a birdcage.
With so much ambition,
my life had turned into just a small vision.
Along came my child
I felt set free with one look at her smile.
My world had turned over,
only wished for my husband to be sober.
Mistakes in the past,
gave me plenty of lessons to last. All my worries and trouble I put behind,
strength, courage and wisdom I would find.
Alone with my daughter I began,
a journey where I once called the "STARLAND".

by Saghi (Sasha) Ghodstinat



September 17th 2003
Times Chronicle Series

Escape to Chalk Farm paradise: Chalk Farm boasts some lovely pubs and shops but not even the proudest resident could claim it as the Promised Land...well, maybe one....
click here to read full article


September 11th 2003
Sassan Varasteh

I am very much enjoying reading your story and as mentioned before, am quite impressed. I also think, that your message gets accross (maybe more so to me, because of all the hardships I had to endure myself). Without experience, there can be no appreciation - specially of the good. Life goes on and we should never loose faith in the meant purpose of all. ...


Chris Clapham

Also I have at long awaited last started your book I am finding it very intresting. Sounds like you home life with family I mean must have been wonderfull. I must say that when the bits where he is horried to you I feel sad/mad knowing you as my friend I dont know how anyone could do that to you. Its always horried when we hear or read what happens to others but when you know them it make you feel even more for them...


"I can not express how fantastic I thought your book was. I read a lot books and can honestly say it is a long time since I have found a book so compelling and beautifuly written. I am sure you have a number one best seller on your hands! Carolyn Boyd my boss was on page 100 yesterday and was leaving the office last night to go home and read!
I hope your book brings you all the sucesss and happiness you deserve."

Kind regards,
Becky Warwick
Head Manager


More Comments

Tim French 
Wed, 14 Jan 2004 16:31:25 -0000

Thanks for your email, it was a pleasure to meet you, I think it's a fantastic and inspiring project. I've not had much in the way of reading time, however I'm up to page 122 and the book is absolutely fantastic!

please let me know how you get on.


Soheila joon

I started reading your book on Sunday at the gym.  I was so engrossed in the book that I didn't notice the time go by and was disappointed when my time on the treadmill had expired!!  So you see that your story will help me lose
weight and improve my health too!

After reading a bit of your book I realized that you are a "sister".  Anyhow, I went home and was thinking about you and our cozy evening at Bahama Breeze with Roya and Manijeh....and thinking that I had to get in touch with Roya for your email.  Then later that day I drove into the City on business....I am an Interior Decorator.  As I drove down the street looking for parking I saw Manijeh and Roya coming out of a restaurant!!  So, I ended up sitting with them
in a cafe.  Isn't that an interesting coincidence??  And you are most probably thinking what I am thinking....there is no coincidence.

I am arriving on Wed, Jan 28th and leaving on Tues, Feb 3.  If you have time on Wed when I arrive I would love to see you.  Then I will probably go by bus to Birmingham to the home of my friend.  I will come back to London with her for the weekend.  If that does not work out then perhaps I could arrange to see you after the weekend?  On Monday or Tues morning??  Without any tarouf....please tell me if there is a better day in that week to see you.

loving regards,

Soheila I could not drop the book it was GREAT!!! I was amazed by your courage !!! It inspired me to be strong!!!

It also made me realize that no matter what there is light at the end of the tunnel!!!  Thank you so much!!!

Kamran is great !!!!!

My sister works for the DA's office for the women's victim unit however there has been some changes during the election and her program might change she said they need to wait until the new district atty arrives in office on 1/5/04.  She's not sure if their going to lose the grant for their program. I will ill keep you posted.

Hello Soheila,

Thank you for your email.  It was really really nice to see you and sooooooo proud of you ! Guess what !!  That Saturday night, I got home and laid down on my bed, and read your book until 1am, and started again next day at 6pm and finished it at 12 am.  I kept picturing Soheila I knew from CDL and kept thinking what you were going thru on other side of the world.  The book is amazing, and very well done, .... at times, I wanted to cry, amazed, unbelievable, and a little smile where you wrote "Hajji/The wall" ! I admire you as a friend and a writer !!!  So proud to know you. Thank you and I will always wish you all the BEST. Please keep in touch, and like I said when we said good bye that night, [I'll look forward to your next book]

Thank you again and take care of yourself.
Hope your book singing went well in NY as well.

Love,  Atsuko

Dear Soheila Joon,

Once I started your book I could not put it down!!!! I read it in two days and that's because I had things to do.It was so marvelous I cant tell you. The anxiety and tension was in my heart the whole time even though I knew the end was okay. My heart was beating every time yours was and boy did you make me cry on four or five occasions. There were real heart breaking episodes. I loved it and it was a REAL pleasure to read. It was not enough and I think you should definitely write another one as soon as possible and I mean it really. Of course I pray you never go through anything even close to that at all but maybe some continuation. You could have even wrote it longer up till today for example.

Thank you so much for thanking Halim and myself in your book but really it was not necessary AT ALL. It was our normal duty and with pleasure we did it. Anyway please answer me because I have sent you a few mails before and don't know if you got them or not. I know you are traveling and are busy but just send me a line.

Love you and Saghi always,
your friend,
Laily xxxx
P.S. Where is Ali now what news & what else happened??? Waiting for Book # 2.

Salaam Soheila-Jan,
 I will let you know immediately, once I receive the books. I am very much enjoying reading your story and as mentioned before, am quite impressed. I also think, that your message gets accross (maybe more so to me, because of all the hardships I had to endure myself). Without experience, there can be no appreciation - specially of the good. Life goes on and we should never loose faith in the meant purpose of all.

Thank you for your wonderful efforts and kind friendship.
 Have a great start into the week,

 Salam Soheila Joon,
I finished your book in three days. I had no choice; I couldn't put it down. Ebbi's glad I finished the book because I wouldnt talk to him and he got ignored alot while I was busy with the book. What a story! How did you remember the daily details of so long ago? I can't believe the things you went through. It was very upsetting to me. I'm so happy for you that you were able to come out of that situation, a winner.  I loved the poems at the end of each chapter. That was a great idea and it put a romantic twist to the book. The poetry you chose were fabulous. If I didnt know you personally to know how you are doing now and what happened next, I'd go crazy. So for your readers, you should write a second book.

 I wish you luck with everything.
 Khasteh Nabashi!
 Leyla Moavenian

Dear Soheila:

I finally finished your book. To tell you the truth, at the beginning I found it a little bit boring but after the first 45-50 pages I became increasingly interested in your story. People, especially women and men too, have a lot to learn from your experience. You never asked for compassion, you always tried to make your way out of that terrible situation. You made me think a lot about my two daughters and how I?d always be prepared to do everything for them. I thought at one point that you?d extend some more on the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Irak War, as others might tend to do, in order to use well known historical facts as a means towards literary success. Instead you only used that as a background for your story. I feel your family which seemed to be well off before 1980 must have suffered those changes in your country. Despite all you went through I never really felt like crying, you avoided melodrama all the time. I always felt like you were finally going to get to Starland. You never made any concessions to ?easy tears? as I call those so recurring in soap operas and most best-sellers. And the most important thing is that by attracting simpathy towards your personality you make us all more conscientious about our responsabilities and duties in relation to women and how we should all treat them a lot better than we do, because unfortunately we are still light years away from respecting women?s rights. Even in my country, where women play such an important and recognized role, they are not yet, in practice, our equals. So, I really liked your book, specially because it?s not ambitious, the story is told in a very simple, straightforward style. It seems to me that you are not looking for recognition or celebrity, you just want to share your experience with others, in a simple way with no high expectations. Your tenacity may, and will certainly do, bring hope and a beam of light to others.

At home everything is fine. I have a lot of  work until december 15th-20th. Good luck with your book everywhere you might go for a signing.  

Always your friend, Juan Miguel.

Hi Soheila Joon,

As you know I am reading your book now and I have to tell you I am enjoying every second of it. I just can't stop reading it. I use to sleep on the train to work and back home but now I am so busy reading your book so I just forget the time. Sometimes I read it in the office too (albate dozdaki). It is so interesting and it is so easy to read and follow, I feel like I was there too.

Soheila joon, I wish you all the best and I know that you are going to be successful, not because of my Moms prayers!!!! but because you are very talented and you deserve it. I will call you later tonight. By the way the guy I told you about is on vacation and will be back next week.

lots of love,
P.S I sent some jokes and also the information about Green Card