Friday, February 4, 2011

Giveaway Link: Dreaming In English

Review & Giveaway: "Dreaming in English" by Laura Fitzgerald

Dreaming in English picks up where Laura Fitzgerald's debut novel Veil of Roses left off. Tamila Soroush came to America from Iran to find a husband. There were no opportunities in Iran and the lure of America, where her sister was living already, was too much for her to ignore. Following a whirlwind courtship and a last-minute marriage to Ike Hanson, Tamila is ready to embrace America with open arms.

Unfortunately, it won't be that easy. Ike's family is shocked at his sudden decision and is less than welcoming to her. Tamila's former American boyfriends keep surfacing, and not all of them wish her well in her new marriage. Ike's ex-girlfriend, and apparently the previous love of his life, has resurfaced and is intent on making Tamila's new marriage miserable. With her immigration interview looming and all of these obstacles in her way, will her luck run out?

Dreaming in English was an incredibly interesting novel. I especially enjoyed Tamila's reflections on freedom and what it meant to her to be able to become an American citizen. We so often take our freedom and privileges for granted, and it was interesting to be presented with an additional perspective. As Tamila attempts to learn English and to immerse herself in the American culture that surrounds her, we as readers can almost feel how much this means to her.

I also appreciated that this was a commentary on marriage. Anyone can walk into a chapel in Vegas and get married, but Dreaming in English reflects on what it means to keep a new marriage together. I've long felt that the strongest marriages are the ones where the couple works through their misunderstandings and differences in order to come to a better understanding of one another and of themselves. This book examines this issue.

My only complaint would be that I found the ending to be a bit overdramatic, but that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the novel. On the whole I found it to be well-written and enjoyable, filled with characters that I really came to care about.

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