Happy Friday! I hope all of you have had a great week and are looking forward to a great weekend. Today I am bringing to you a great book by Marjan Kamali, Together Tea. This is a unique perspective of Iran and Iranian culture through the story of a mother and daughter. This story really sucked me in and kept me enthralled. You will enjoy the sights and sounds of Iran and New York. For my full review keep reading after the book blurb. I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy the weather with a good book outside. 🙂
In Together Tea, Marjan Kamali’s delightful and heartwarming debut novel, Darya has discovered the perfect gift for her daughter’s twenty-fifth birthday: an ideal husband. Mina, however, is fed up with her mother’s years of endless matchmaking and the spreadsheets grading available Iranian-American bachelors. Having spent her childhood in Tehran and the rest of her life in New York City, Mina has experienced cultural clashes firsthand, but she’s learning that the greatest clashes sometimes happen at home.
After a last ill-fated attempt at matchmaking, mother and daughter embark on a return journey to Iran. Immersed once again in Persian culture, the two women gradually begin to understand each other. But when Mina falls for a young man who never appeared on her mother’s matchmaking radar, will Mina and Darya’s new-found appreciation for each other survive?
Together Tea is a moving and joyous debut novel about family, love, and finding the place you truly belong.
Mina is tired of her mother’s matchmaking. All she really wants to do is paint but she is committed to getting her MBA because her parents want her to. Darya, Mina’s mother, loves mathematics and statistics. She knows she can find the perfect husband for her daughter through her spreadsheets, but when the most recent match doesn’t work Darya is at her wit’s end. So, when Mina announces she wants to return to Iran to visit her family her mother heartily agrees to go with her. On their trip over to Iran they remember how life was before moving to America and how things changed through historical events. Once in Iran the familiarity that rushes back to both of them fills them with both joy and sorrow. It is during one of these times that Mina finds a man who her mother wasn’t thrusting upon her. Through her experiences in Iran and remembering both the good and bad in both their home’s, Mina and Darya appreciate what they have and what they have lost.
This was a great novel. It really brought a different perspective to a culture that is not always highlighted well in American society. I think using the mother/daughter dynamic really illustrated the cultural differences and the similarities that all mothers and daughters share. The timeline in this was a wonderful tool to accentuate the before and afters of significant political strife. The use of the family dynamic and how they are affected by the Islamic Revolution, the return of the Ayatollah and Iran/Iraq war. In addition to the great historical aspect and the wonderful cultural illustrations, the characters were very vibrant and brilliant. You could really relate to their strife and their reasoning in the decisions that they made. Marjan Kamali has done a phenomenal job bringing the beauty and complexities of the Iranian culture and people. If you want to read a book that will enlighten you and entertain you pick up, Together Tea.
Together Tea is her first novel and has received rave reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. It will be translated into several languages including German, Italian, Norwegian, Czech, and Slovak.
Marjan lives in the Boston area with her husband and their two children.