Digging to America ~ Anne Tyler

dtaSummary:  Fifty-something Iranian immigrant Maryam has just become a new grandparent.  Her son Sami and his wife Ziba have just adopted a baby girl from China.  When they go to pick her up at the airport, they meet the Donaldsons, a family who are also adopting.  The Donaldsons are an all-American family who couldn’t have been more different from Maryam’s.  The invitation to the Donaldson’s “arrival” party brings the two families close together, and at first they find ways to get along.  However, after some time, the families begin to fight.  The reader can tell that it’s more than that – it’s two cultures clashing.

Recommendation:  I really enjoyed this book, but after I read it I wasn’t sure why.  It might have been because I liked reading a real, 100 percent realistic fiction novel.  The writing had a sort of simple charm to it which made it interesting and enjoyable to read.  However, the conflict in the story repeated over and over, making it a very slow book.  Along the way, you may find yourself picking sides, but it’s not clear if the author favored one family over the other.  If you’re OK with a slow-paced narrative, I can promise that (for no particular reason) this will be an enjoyable read for you.

Favorite Passage:  “For a bed they lined a shoe box with one of Maryam’s scarves, although she warned them that most likely Moosh would refuse to use it.  ‘Cats are too willful to sleep where you tell them to,’ she said.”

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