Amy's Reviews > Digging to America

Digging to America by Anne Tyler
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Apr 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: immigrant-experience

Two little girls arrive at BWI in 1997 to be adopted; the two families waiting for them become entwined for years. This is a quiet book. The things that happen in it are pretty basic, probably happening in a dozen houses in my neighborhood. What Tyler did brilliantly is get me to change my mind about the two dominant characters, Maryam and Bitsy.

Maryam has lived in the U.S. for about 40 years. She's a strong woman, in a quiet way, keeping her opinions to herself. At the beginning of the book, I admired Maryam.

Bitsy is a new mother, "aggressively plain," bossy with other new mothers, neurotic about the annual Arrival Party tradition she starts. At the beginning of the book, I was annoyed with Bitsy.

Tyler knows just how much detail to give. Her dialogue is natural. Her characters are smart, a little odd, believable. She keeps the emotions balanced, no soap opera here. Reminds me of Penelope Lively. Digging to America is more like a 3.5-star book, but it makes me want to read Tyler's others.

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