From Publishers Weekly
In this pat but sweet attempt at FOB (fresh off the boat) chick lit, Tamila Soroush, a 27-year-old Iranian woman, flies to Tucson, Ariz., to stay with her older sister, Maryam (whom she hasn't seen in 15 years), and Maryam's orthopedic surgeon husband, Ardishir. Tami is there for a three-month stay, courtesy of a visa arranged by her loving parents, who want her to marry an Iranian with American citizenship and stay in the States. Tami concurs with this plan: "being married is a small price to pay if I can stay in the land of Opportunity." But on her way to her ESL class, Tami meets Ike, an affable American working at Starbucks while he raises money to open his own chain of coffee shops. Potential Iranian fiancé setups move forward while Tami and Ike's mutual feelings deepen. As she nears the end of her visa, Tami faces some tough choices. The plot is disposable and the agenda transparent, but watching Tami find her voice through such small comforts as being able to sit alone in a house, walk to school unescorted or buy lingerie with her sister will leave readers rooting for her. (Jan.)
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Fitzgerald's unique take on the increasingly popular immigrant saga juxtaposes an introspective look into the repressive lifestyle experienced by Tamila Soroush, 27, in Iran with the nearly unreal freedom she finds while in Tucson on a three-month visa. Sent by her parents in the hope that she can "wake up her luck" and stay in America like her older sister, Tami has three months to find a husband and avoid returning to Iran. One of the Iranian suitors her sister and brother-in-law have lined up turns out to be obsessive-compulsive; the second is a gay control freak. Beyond these awkward matchmaking scenes, Tami forges her own strong friendships with the students in her ESL class, including Nadia, a Russian refugee abused by her bigoted husband, and the outrageously provocative Eva, who introduces Tami to country line dancing. Tami also captures the heart of Ike, a Starbucks server who encourages her pursuit of photography and sends her flowers, despite her sister's objections. A fun, romantic, and thought-provoking debut novel from a promising author. Deborah DonovanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved