This compelling debut follows one spirited young woman from the confines of Iran to the intoxicating freedom of America–where she discovers not only an enticing new country but the roots of her own independence. . . .
Tamila Soroush wanted it all. But in the Islamic Republic of Iran, dreams are a dangerous thing for a girl. Tami abandons them . . . until her twenty-seventh birthday, when her parents give her a one-way ticket to America, hoping she will “go and wake up her luck.” If they have their way, Tami will never return to Iram . . . which means she has three months to find a husband in America. Three months before she’s sent back for good.
From her first Victoria’s Secret bra to her first ride on a motor scooter to her first country line-dance, Tami drinks in the freedom of an American girl. Inspired to pursue her passion for photography, she even captures her adventures on film. But looming over her is the fact that she must concede to an arranged marriage before her visa expires. To complicate matters, her friendship with Ike, a young American man has grown stronger. And it is becoming harder for Tami to ignore the forbidden feelings she has for him.
It’s in her English as a second language classes that Tami finds a support system. With the encouragement of headstrong Eva, loyal Nadia, and Agata and Josef, who are carving out a love story of their own, perhaps Tami can keep dreaming–and find a way to stay in America.
This wasn’t a bad book. It did reveal certain things that were somewhat apalling, in Iran. Her friend, Nadia, is in an abusive relationship. She was a mail order bride that her husband ordered. His way of keeping her in his house is by threatening to turn her in to the government. Tami helps Nadia get out of that relationship.
She almost agrees to an arranged marriage with a gay man. They would have eventually gotten divorced, but he would have made her promise to let him keep their baby full-time. He argues that that is what they do in Iran. She won’t hear of it. Tami decides not to marry him.
Before she is about to leave for Iran, Ike proposes to her. She decides to stay. Unfortunately, we never find out if the government gives her citizenship, but they probably did.
If you were looking for a good portrayal of Islam, this is not the book for you.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Stars (out of 5): ****