Book – Digging to America, Anne Tyler

It was the last day of the October Montreal trip when this book grabbed my attention but I didn’t purchase as I already had too much to carry. The BF was already on his way back to New York and I had a few hours before I went to catch my plane back to London so wondered into a coffee shop/book shop, one of my favourite combinations. I was upset that we didn’t come here together although we had passed it one day when it was raining bucket loads and we were running for cover back in the shopping centre.

So when we were in Montreal for Christmas, I took him there for coffee and a browse and the book was still in the reduced section, now just $5 so of course I took that as it was meant to be.

Something about the title made me pick it up which shows how important names are. The story is about two families in the US who meet under the most unusual circumstances, both collecting adopted Korean babies at the airport. One family is of Iranian descent, although the young father is American born, the other an all-American older couple waiting for a longed-for daughter.

The book reveals how these two families, although both from a different age bracket and culture, become friends over the years, despite some frustrations at each others customs and lifestyles. I found the culture difference a little far fetched seeing that both couples were bought up in America but that didn’t halt my enjoyment of a delightfully well written book. What made it interesting were the extended families, particularly the widowed Iranian grandmother who the couples were very keen to get together with the newly widowed American grandfather.

The particularly endearing chapter is the one written through the eyes of one of the adopted girls’ voice. The whole book is altogether warming, enlightening and telling if not of the over-told cultural difference, definitely of the issues of adoption, in particular of foreign babies and of being a foreigner in America. Especially as it’s written by a talented American.

Whatever happens in the future, the book will always remind me of those times the BF and spent in Montreal, awaiting my fate, hopefully not as a foreigner, in America. One day.
7½/10 Inspiration factor 8/10
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