Together Tea by Marjan Kamali

The authoress of the book Marjan Kamali was born to Iranian parents in Turkey. This is the first book I'm reading of an Iranian author and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every tiny bit of Iran mentioned in the book. Well, there are a lot of themes interwoven together. Through a mother-daughter relationship, the author tries to describe the history of Iran, the revolution, pre-revolution, post-revolution societal changes, freedom of women,  chasing your dreams and finding true happiness, and the dichotomy that lies in the character's hearts about where they truly belong to. There is a romantic subplot too but not very capturing.

Darya's is an immgrant who has shifted to United States during the Revolution with her husband Parviz in order to provide better lives to her three children-Hooman, Kavyon and Mina. Though she would want to go back to Iran any given time having struggled in US to adapt to its fast paced life, she knows the difficulties she would have to face there and also is quite skeptical to return. Her life comprises of her job, taking care of kids, her math club and finding the right husband for her daughter Mina for her twenty-fifth birthday. 

Mina is an MBA student whose true love lies in art. She is willing to take it up as a profesion but succumbing to parental pressure, she sticks to her MBA classes. In her mid-sem vacation she decides to make a trip to Iran to find the true Iran her mother boasts of. Her character is very endearing and through her trip with her mother, she realises and connects more with her mother. Her trip gets more cherishable with each passing moment as she learns to respect her Iranian roots and values, culture, tradition and history and when she meets her family after a gap of fifteen years after having fled to America when Iran was taken over by the revolutionists.

All is not the great in the book though. The romantic subplot of Mina with a stranger during her trip in Iran was unnecessary. Even the subplot of Darya's crush in one of the classes didn't add much to the plot. The description about places like Persepolis and other places at Iran could have been more elaborate. The section that talks of Revolution that took place in Iran and the society and rules that changed is my personal favorite.

I have read many books on immigrant experiences by various author who really struggle to keep your interest for long. But Marjan Kamali has done a great job with her debut book and  not one percent of the book feels like a sore moment. looking forward to read more by the author.

Rating:3/5(It is good and one-time read)