Friday, August 13, 2010

Veil of Roses

By Laura Fitzgerald

Tami is a young Iranian woman who gets to come the USA for two months. She is unhappy living under the oppressive religious regime running Iran and her hope is that she will find a nice Iranian man to marry while in the USA. She will be staying with her older sister and her sister will introduce her to all the eligible Iranian males in the area, which is Tucson, Arizona.
Tami finds America a little disorienting. She if offered a free sample at Starbucks and she doesn't understand the concept of a free sample, trying to pay the clerk for it. And when the police arrive a short time later, just to get a beverage, Tami is sure they have come to arrest her for stealing the sample. So even though she speaks English, she takes a class in conversational English to improve her understanding.
Her class is small and is composed of other foreigners. These people soon become like a second family, offering advice and helping her cope with American life. Tami is so closed off from living in Iran for almost all her life that she is constantly shocked by the openness and freedom she sees around her. At the same time she realizes that this is exactly what she wants. She is determined that she will find a man to marry before her two months are up.
Problem is that all the prospects are just not measuring up. One guy is already engaged. One guy is a loon. Meanwhile there is a guy who really likes Tami but she won't give him a chance because he is not Iranian. Her family would be really unhappy if she married a non-Iranian. Looks like she is doomed to go back to the Iran . . .

I liked this story a lot. Tami's friends in her English class give her a crash course in American Life and though she is somewhat dismayed she finds herself craving the freedom she sees all around her. Freedom to take her shoes off in public and walk in the soft, dewy grass. Freedom to hold hands in public with a man. Freedom to let her hair blow free in the wind. Freedom to sing and dance in public. Freedom from the constant censure that makes life back home so burdensome. Is was nice reading about life here through the eyes of someone new to it. It was a very enjoyable read.

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