Every year, on the anniversary of "Arrival Day" their two extended families celebrate together, with more and more elaborately competitive parties, as tiny, delicate Susan, wholesome, stocky Jin-ho and, later, her new little sister Xiu-Mei, take roots, become American. While Maryam, the optimistic pessimist, confident that if things go wrong, as well they may, she will manage as she has before, contrarily preserves her "outsider" status, as if to prove that, despite her passport, she is only a guest in this bewildering country.
Full of achingly hilarious moments (Xiu-Mei¿s "pacifier" party is worthy of The Simpsons) and toe-curling misunderstandings, Digging to America is a novel with a deceptively small domestic canvas, and subtly large themes, it's about belonging and otherness, about insiders and outsiders, pride and prejudice, young love and unexpected old love, families and the impossibility of ever getting it right, about striving for connection and goodness against all the odds. And the end catches you by the throat, ambushes your emotions when you least expect it, as only Tyler can.
©2006 Anne Tyler; (P)2006 Random House AudioBooks
"A small exquisitely painted canvas. Don't miss it." (Woman & Home)
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