Title: A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea
Author: Dina Nayeri
Publish Date: January 31, 2013
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Growing up in a small
rice-farming village in 1980s Iran, eleven-year-old Saba Hafezi and her
twin sister, Mahtab, are captivated by America. They keep lists of
English words and collect illegal Life magazines, television
shows, and rock music. So when her mother and sister disappear, leaving
Saba and her father alone in Iran, Saba is certain that they have moved
to America without her. But her parents have taught her that “all fate
is written in the blood,” and that twins will live the same life, even
if separated by land and sea. As she grows up in the warmth and
community of her local village, falls in and out of love, and struggles
with the limited possibilities in post-revolutionary Iran, Saba
envisions that there is another way for her story to unfold. Somewhere,
it must be that her sister is living the Western version of this life.
And where Saba’s world has all the grit and brutality of real life under
the new Islamic regime, her sister’s experience gives her a freedom and
control that Saba can only dream of."
My Two Cents:
this book was really, really good! If you want a book where you only
get little bits and pieces along the way until everything comes together
in an absolutely fantastic mind-blowing ending, this is the book for
you! This is a family story with a dose of family secrets and even a
little bit of something verging on magical realism. Saba and Mahtab are
sisters, twin sisters. They are utterly and inextricably connected to
each other. When Mahtab and their mother leave Iran for America, Saba is
left to imagine what their life may or may not be.
characters in this book are stunning and are ones that I am going to be
thinking about for a long time. The chapters are narrated by various
characters, which I really liked. Sometimes having a lot of narrators
doesn't work for me because I get confused but here the characters are
so unique that I had no trouble and really enjoyed seeing things from
different angles. The main character of this book, Saba, is so
wonderful.I loved Saba. She is a dreamer. She and her sister talk about
going to America all the time and are encouraged by their mother who is a
little bit of a rebel herself. She wants to think the best of people
and the best of her situation even when everything points to the
contrary. I absolutely loved following her character as she unravels the
mystery of her sister and her mother. I love sister stories but this
story has something special with a story of twin sisters. It is so
heartbreaking thinking about siblings being separated and the author
makes you really feel that pain in this book.
I also really loved
the setting of this book. The book takes place in a very turbulent time
during Iran's history mostly in the 1980s but stretching beyond that.
The author does a really, really good job of making you feel what it
must have been like to be both in the big city and small towns of Iran
during that time. I loved all of the detail.
The writing in this
book was so good. As I mentioned previously, there are a lot of big
secrets in this book and I thought the author did a really good job of
giving you just enough information to make me want to just read a few
more pages to see what was happening. Needless to say, I finished this
book rather quickly as I kept wanting to put all of the pieces together!
Definitely a good read!