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DIGGING TO AMERICA
ANNE TYLER
ISBN# (10)034549234X/(13)9780345492340
September 4, 2007
Ballantine (A Division of Random House)
1745 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10019
Paperback
$14.95
304 Pages
Fiction
Rating: 4 Cups

Brad and Bitsy Donaldson arrive at the Baltimore airport to welcome their newly adopted daughter, Jin-Ho. It is there that they meet another family awaiting their own newborn baby and they strike up a close friendship.

Sami and Ziba Yazdan, with Sami’s mother, Maryam, are Iranian Americans who meet the Donaldson’s at the Baltimore airport while they wait for their baby daughter, Sookie. They soon establish a growing friendship with the Donaldson’s.

Maryam watches her granddaughter, Susan, on Tuesdays and Thursdays while Ziba, an interior decorator, has her appointments. Originally called Sookie, they change her name to Susan since it is more relatively easy to pronounce. Every time Maryam looks upon her little granddaughter, she sees perfection in every way. On another side of town, Jin-Ho, who also came from a foster home, is being cared for by Bitsy and Brad Donaldson. Bitsy recalls meeting the couple at the airport, and after finding a Yazdan in the phone book, gives them a call. Maryam remembers them as they begin to discuss the children. Bitsy invites the family over for dinner, including Maryam so the girls can get to know each other. The one thing Maryam loves the most is how Bitsy refers to the babies as, the girls. It makes her feel like they will be a part of the culture of the future. As the families grow in the coming years, and their friendship bonds, it is Maryam who tries to come to terms with her own life, who came to America as a young bride but always had trouble living in two worlds where neither made her feel completely at home.

Anne Tyler’s books have a prose that makes the heart reflect on many things. Digging to America is just another great story from a remarkable voice. I loved reading about the two families and their struggle with everyday life. This compelling tale pulls the reader into the homes of the families and permits them to feel as if they, too, have been adopted. Ms. Tyler crafts an entertaining story that connects with the reader. I enjoyed when the children grew older and Jin-Ho asked his dad did he remember how he and Susan would try to dig a hole to China. The dad remembered and Jin-ho then wondered were perhaps the children in China trying to dig to America. I often wondered the same. I could only imagine the struggles Maryam felt within herself of being torn by two worlds that were hard to feel really at home. This is a wonderful story.

Cherokee
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

 

 

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