Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Sometimes there are books that just take my breath away. I often find myself reading these rare books more slowly--putting the book down right in the middle of an emotional scene so that I can think about it for awhile before I continue; lingering on a lyrical phrase or an image so real and haunting that I finally have to look away. Books filled with characters so complex and honest that surely they exist in a world beyond the pages of the books. While I'm compelled to reach the ending and gobble every word, I resist sprinting to that final page.
A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri is one of these exceptional books. Saba has only vague memories of the day her mother and twin sister Mahtab flew away to America, leaving Saba behind in Iran with her father. Resisting the post-revolutionary Iran, Saba is obsessed with banned American music, movies and TV. She imagines the life of freedom Mahtab is living in America as she experiences love, heartache and the cruel barbarity of the New Iran.
That description, while technically accurate, seems not enough to invoke the emotion and power within the pages of A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea. The book captures the desires of all women throughout the world, while creating a distinctive and individual character of Saba--uniquely her own, with her own personal struggles. The supporting cast are equally important and well developed--they are people either fighting against or giving-in to their personal destinies while their lives are entangled with Saba's.
A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea could be labeled as a "coming-of-age" story, yet that title alone is not enough to encompass its themes and value. It's a social commentary about the injustices against women. It's a call for each woman to be strong enough to make their own choices and reach their own dreams. In the end, it's a marvelous read about a story-teller named Saba who made her own dream come true.
**I received a complimentary copy of A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea in exchange for my honest review. No additional compensation was received.**
Posted by Cindi at 12:47 PM