Friday, 2 December 2011

Tyler, Anne "Digging to America"

Tyler, Anne "Digging to America" - 2006

Two very different American families meet while adopting a Korean baby. One family are immigrants themselves, from Iran. The families become friends and start a tradition for both of them. The book demonstrates all the different parts of family life, the joys and the problems.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Anne Tyler has a great way of giving her characters life, describing both ordinary and extraordinary lives.

A lot of topics come up for discussion. How far do you want to keep your adopted child from another culture to stay in touch with this culture, how much are you as a family willing to adjust to this culture? How much are they willing to adapt themselves? How much is a marriage threatened or able to grow through an act like that? All these questions show what a great book this would be for a book club.

From the back cover:
"Two families meet at the Baltimore airport while waiting for their baby girls to arrive from Korea. The Iranian-American Sami and Ziba Yazdan, with Ziba's elegant and reserved mother, Maryam, in tow, wait quietly while brash and all-American Bitsy and Brad Donaldson, plus extended family, are armed with camcorders and a fleet of balloons proclaiming "It's a girl!" After they decide together to throw an impromptu "arrival party," a tradition is born, and so begins a lifelong friendship between the two families.

As they raise their daughters, the Yazdan and Donaldson families grapple with questions of assimilation and identity. When Bitsy's recently widowed father sets his sights on Maryam, she must confront her own idea of what it means to be other, and of who she is and what she values. Rich, tender, and searching,
Digging to America challenges the notion that home is a fixed place, and celebrates the subtle complexities of life on all sides of the American experience."

I also read "The Accidental Tourist" and "A Patchwork Planet"  but wasn't that impressed with either of those novels. However, I loved "A Spool of Blue Thread".

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