Vintage (Random House). 330 pages.
I’d never been so happy to be so wrong about a book.
Front cover, check.
Back cover synopsis:
“Friday August 15th, 1997. Two tiny Korean babies are delivered to two very different Baltimore families. Every year, on the anniversary of the ‘Arrival Day’, the two families celebrate together, with more and more elaborately competitive parties, as little Susan and Jin-ho take roots and become American.”
a BIG CHECK.
CHECK for ‘yet another asian-american identity crisis drama ala Amy Tan’.
And for those reasons alone, I never bothered getting this book. Just another cliche, is what I thought about it.
When I saw it on sale at an about to close book shop, I got it. Still, it took me more than a month to pick it up. And grudgingly at that.
I’m already 1/4 on my next book but my mind is still with the Donaldsons and the Yazdans..the two very different American families who adopted the Korean babies. One is a bluer than true blue American family, the other a second-generation Iranian-American family.
It is NOT about the Korean babies. Nor is it about their identity crisis or agony to fit in.
It’s about the families that revolve around them, and the touching and ridiculous ways they go about the adoption and dealing with each other.
It is about young and old love. And finding it in the least expected ways. Yet it is not mushy or irritating.
It’s about death. sickness. adoption. Yet it is not one bit melancholy.
It’s about fitting in an adopted country. Yet it is never dramatic.
It is over-all FUNNY, light and will leave you with a warm tingly feeling. Those tingly gooey feelings that stir up inside me whenever I watch “As Good as it Gets”–they are encapsulated in text form through this book.
READ IT. I’d never been so wrong about making a judgement on a book. And I’d never been so happy reading it.
I am now following the author, Anne Tyler. To my delight, she has been around for some time now. I got one of her earlier works, “The Accidental Tourist”, (which was made into a motion picture circa late 1990’s).
the author, with a smile as disarming as her words.