Friday, March 14, 2008

A Sweet Immigrant Tale

Veil of Roses, by Laura Fitzgerald, is a sweet, if unsubstantial, story of Tamila Soroush, a 27 Iranian woman who is sent to America by her parents to “wake up” her luck, and more importantly, find an American man to marry so she can be saved from the repression of her country. The story pulls you in as she discovers the various freedoms that many Americans don’t even realize they have.

Of course, there is romance, not from the Iranian American suitors her sister finds, but from the completely unsuitable blond, blue-eyed Starbucks barista she meets early on in the novel. Yet, while the romance is sweet, it is the friendships that she creates at her English class that feel the most real. These were the people that I came to care about the most as I read. I even cared about Eva, her very foul-mouthed friend, who turned out to be a softie under her harden exterior of miniskirts and makeup.

The story is predictable, yet, in a comforting way, like when you used to ask your parents to tell you the story of how they met, even though you had heard it a million times before. And while you are never surprised, you care deeply about Tamila, and you wonder if you could make the hard decisions she and her family have had forced upon them. Marry the crazy, germ freak, or return to a country where you could be arrested at any moment, just for the crime of being a woman? Keep your children near you, or let them go far away in the hopes of a new life? Hold on to bitterness when another’s mistake has changed your life forever, or forgive and see that even the best intentions can lead to sorrow? And finally, when the only answer you have ever heard is no, do your wishes stop, or do you acknowledge that you do have dreams, and have hope that one day the world will answer yes?

*** disclaimer*** if you can not abide any swearing in your books, then this is not the book for you. It comes exclusively from one character, but there are several uses of the f word and other various swear words.


Spencer said...

Yes, but does it have pictures?