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 Iran…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 class 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.
A gorgeously authentic voice. Fitzgerald’s narrative is infused with wit, warmth and compassion. Of you like cross-cultural books, you won’t want to put this down.” (Kavita Daswani, author of Salaam, Paris)
In this winning debut, Fitzgerald has crafted the powerful story of one woman’s courage to look beyond the life that she has been given – a poignant and uplifting novel full of charm, wit and grace.” (Beth Kendrick, author of Nearlyweds)
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Rooting for freedom
YES! I have!
The main character, Tamila. I know, I'm a real original. She is just so real. I know many immigrants, many from Iran, and she is just how they are. Her fears, her anger, her confusion..it's all palpable.
I also love that it shows that all middle eastern people aren't bloodthirsty terrorists. Here in America, there is such a broad-brushed idea that they are all bad. It's so not true, not at all, and I'm glad this book paints a picture of that.
My favorite scene is when Tamila meets Ike for the first time at Starbucks. The confusion she has for the term "free sample" and the ensuing bout of fear she has when Ike won't let her pay, is hilarious while letting you see how her fear was so real.
See how daunting "the land of the free" can be for someone who has never had freedom.