Synopses & Reviews
In Together Tea
, Marjan Kamalis delightful and heartwarming debut novel, Darya has discovered the perfect gift for her daughters twenty-fifth birthday: an ideal husband. Mina, however, is fed up with her mothers 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 shes 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 mothers matchmaking radar, will Mina and Daryas 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.
"Kamali's debut, set in the mid-'90s, is the story of Darya and Mina Rezayi, mother and daughter in a family that emigrated to the U.S. from Iran after Mina's grandmother was killed by an Iraqi bomb. One of three children trying to live up to their parents' expectations, Mina would rather paint than finish her MBA. But mostly she wishes her mother, a frustrated mathematician, would stop creating spreadsheets of eligible Iranian-American men, who have so far all disappointed her. Darya's husband embraces the can-do American spirit, but she misses prerevolutionary Iran, with its emphasis on family and tradition, and accompanies Mina on a visit to their homeland. The book's second part takes place in Tehran, but during the revolution and the early years of the war with Iraq. Kamali's lyrical writing is particularly vivid here, and warm, as with the many descriptions of tarof, a Persian verbal tradition. Although there are differences in Mina's and Darya's American experiences, the author effectively evokes the pull both women feel toward Iran. She creates empathy for a people forced to live one life in public and another privately. Agent: Wendy Sherman, Wendy Sherman Associates Literary Management. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Marjan Kamalis thoughtful novel presents the story of a young Iranian womans coming of age in modern America and her mothers parallel journey from the old world to the new. Kamalis writing spans oceans yet depicts a common humanitya lovely work.” Rishi Reddi, award-winning author of < b=""> < i=""> Karma and Other Stories <> <>
“Compassionate, funny, and wise, Together Tea is a treasure of a novel. Marjan Kamali creates a wonderfully loving and real story about a mother and daughter, and their complicated cultural identity. Its remarkable scope-from 1970s Tehran to 1990s New York-is beautifully rendered.” Jill Davis, bestselling author of < b=""> < i=""> Girls' Poker Night <> <>
“Smart and witty, with characters so dear you want to pack your suitcase and travel with them wherever they can take you. How lucky I feel to have been given this baklava-delicious gift of Persian immersion from a New York point of view.” < b=""> Elinor Lipman <>
“Sparkling dialogue and warm characters make Kamalis debut novel perfect for book clubs.” Kirkus
“Lyrical, vivid, and warm...Although there are differences in Minas and Daryas American experiences, the author effectively evokes the pull both women feel toward Iran. She creates empathy for a people forced to live one life in public and another privately.” Publishers Weekly
“[A] lively debut...Kamali perfectly captures the sights, sounds, and smells of Tehran. Humor, romance, and tradition all combine in an enjoyable chick-lit tale, Iranian style.” Booklist
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 endless matchmaking and grading of available Iranian American bachelors.
After Darya's last ill-fated attempt to find Mina a husband, mother and daughter embark on a journey to Iran, where the two women gradually begin to understand each other. But after Mina falls for a young man who never appeared on her mother's spreadsheets and Darya is tempted by an American musician, will this mother and daughter's tender appreciation for each other survive?
About the Author
Marjan Kamali has an MFA in creative writing from New York University and an MBA from Columbia University. Her work has been a top finalist in Glimmer Train's Fiction Open and the Asian American Short Story Contest. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and their two children.