Together Tea by Marjan Kamali - 318 pages
In Together Tea, Marjan Kamali’s delightful and heartwarming debut novel, Darya has discovered the perfect gift for her daughter’s twenty-fifth birthday: an ideal husband. Mina, however, is fed up with her mother’s years of endless matchmaking and the spreadsheets grading available Iranian-American bachelors. Having spent her childhood in Tehran and the rest of her life in New York City, Mina has experienced cultural clashes firsthand, but she’s learning that the greatest clashes sometimes happen at home.
After a last ill-fated attempt at matchmaking, mother and daughter embark on a return journey to Iran. Immersed once again in Persian culture, the two women gradually begin to understand each other. But when Mina falls for a young man who never appeared on her mother’s matchmaking radar, will Mina and Darya’s new-found appreciation for each other survive?
My Review: 4 stars
This book was a quick read that brought the dreams, those fulfilled and those not, of a mother and daughter living in the US after emigrating from Iran. The author did a wonderful job of creating characters to care about. The descriptions of the Iran both before and after the Ayatollah were quite vivid and truly put the reader there. After reading Persepolis, this book was even more interesting. Highly suggest reading them both if you want a discussion that pulls two short books together. Loved the outlandish character Bita who really taught the main protagonists the meaning of freedom.
Quotes I liked:
- “A jacket on a seemingly warm day. Your mother says take it, it’s good for you. You refuse, it seems unnecessary. Then you realize she knew you better than you knew yourself. That’s why she’s your mother.”
- “She knew how to swing her legs on that hyphen that defined and denied who she was: Iranian-American. Neither the first word not the second really belonged to her. Her place was on the hyphen, and on the hyphen she would stay, carrying memories of the one place from which she had come and the other place in she must succeed.”
- “She did not know she could stand so much love.”
- “She saw that the definitions of things like “history,” “good,” and bad shifted depending on who was in power. Mina realized that whoever had access to dispensing information drew and colored the world.”
- “...the stunning knowledge that where her kids were going was due in large part to where she, as mother, led them.”
- “But character, Mina, is what lasts. Kindness will carry you through the ups and downs of life.”
Tags: 2013, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mothers/Daughters, Iran
Labels: 2013, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Iran, Mothers/Daughters