Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Review: Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Interesting story about different cultures coming together.

At first I was unsure about this book. I was not really enthusiastic about the writing style. The author writes in present tense and while there is a lot of dialogue back and forth, there isn't any punctuation and sometimes I found it challenging to figure out who was saying what.

An example:

Fifteen pounds, three ounces, at her last doctor visit, Ziba told him.
Fifteen, he frowned.
And three ounces.
I guess she's going to be one of those petite little people he said.

The story was worth the challenging moments. After a while I found the cadence of the author and could look past it. Initially I thought this book was a story about adoption but learned it was so much more.

The story starts with two couples at the airport waiting anxiously for their baby girls to be delivered to them off the plan landing from Korea. The Donaldsons are a very American couple, with a lot of extended family and a video camera, waiting for their Jin-Ho to arrive. The Yazdans are of Iranian heritage and are standing to the side, more reserved, also waiting for their new daughter Sooki.

An unlikely friendship develops over the years as the two couple bond over the lives of their children but with marked differences in how they raise their families. The extended family members come along for the ride, uniting the shy and reserved Iranian family with the boisterous Americans.

The stories of the grandparents really becomes a larger theme in the book and the focus from the children does shift which makes this fascinating yet easy reading. How does a person who immigrated from Iran but does not feel she fits into the American world react to the society around her? I found this the most interesting part of the story and learned to love all of the characters.

An easy read (once you got past the dialogue) and very interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment