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Veil of Roses Paperback – December 26, 2006
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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 Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
Throughout the book, references are made to Tami's parents and what little she knows. When the veil was lifted and the story revealed, it was very short and again, underdeveloped. I did not feel the emotion that the character felt at all.
Even so, I enjoyed the book, and understood Tami. Even though I've never been in her shoes, I felt the fear she felt when the police approached the coffee shop, and understood her confusion at American culture. I would recommend the book to others, as long as they don't expect very detailed storylines or developed characters.
From trying on her first Victoria's Secret bra to ordering coffee at Starbucks, you watch Tami grow. Sometimes failing, she never gives up and always continues her walk home, her awkwardly worded conversation, or quest to find a husband in order to stay in the states. The book's overall theme was hope - hope for a better future. Eye opening in many ways, you learn about the Persian lifestyle and, ultimately, about yourself. As Tami realizes that she could, in fact, sit with men and drink coffee out in public, you realize that in some countries, it's outlawed. As she realizes that she can make decisions on her own, you realize that somewhere people can't. Tami is endearing and fun loving. The book lets you cheer on her quest for a better tomorrow.
Tami arrives in Tucson on a three month visa her sole purpose being to find an Iranian-American to marry so she may stay. This puts so much pressure on the young 27 year old, but along the way she delights in some of America's quirky ways. From Victoria Secret, to Starbucks where men and women can be seen together, to Las Vegas, Tami finds joy in what those in the USA take for granted. With the help of her sister, brother-in-law and friends from her English speaking class, she weathers extremes. Her search for the husband is humorous to downright distressing, but it all makes for interesting angst, and a bit of mystery whether she may stay or return to oppressive Iran.
"Veil of Roses" has a sweet essence which helps the reader digest the ugly while exalting the beauty. A fine read!!!
Most recent customer reviews
A definite read. Down load it now