Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Digging to America by Anne Tyler

I haven't been so great about posting my reviews, but hopefully I will start. My challenge this year was to read 210 books in honor of the year 2010. I have finished 85, in order to meet my goal I need to read about 4.25 per week. Not out of reach if I amp up my pace a bit. Minor things in real life kept me sidetracked for awhile, but hopefully they are done.

So on to my review of this book. Overall the book was okay, but I really didn't think many of the characters were likable.

The story is about two families who are picking up the baby girls they adopted from Korea at the airport at the same time. One family is a large "all American" family. The second comprises of the new mom and dad along with the new paternal grandmother. The Donaldson family invites the Yazdans to their house for the celebration they have planned. The Yazdans decline but a few weeks later Bitsy Donaldson the other new mom calls her and a friendship is formed.

The Donaldson family includes the new baby Jin-Ho, Bitsy the new mother, Brad the new father, Bitsy's parents Dave and Connie and Brads parents who are Pat and Lou. The Yazdan family consists of Susan the new baby, Ziba the new mother, Sami the new father and Maryam the grandma and Sami's mother. The Yazdans are Iranian, Ziba moved to the states as a teenager and Maryam moved right after her wedding. Sami was born and raised in the states.

Conflicts within the two families exist through out the book. Most appear to be standard conflicts that happen between cultures, however I think a lot of it universal when families spend a considerable amount of time with another family.

Bitsy and Ziba mainly disagree on parenting issues and Maryam seems to disagree with the Donaldsons for their "Americanesse".

It wasn't an exciting book that had you gripped, but it was a good story. It was interesting to see how the friendships formed and developed despite all the differences and maybe in some ways because of those differences.

For me my favorite character was Dave, Bitsy's father. After he becomes widowed he pursues Maryam. It was an unlikely pairing, but I couldn't help but root for him.

Overall I would say it was good book, but not a "must read".

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