Spellbinding in its narration, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea is the story of an Iranian girl who, separated from her mother and twin sister during the turmoil following the Iranian Revolution, invents a rich, imaginative world in which they live.
Growing up in a small fishing village in 1980s Iran, eleven-year-old Saba Hafezi and her twin sister Mahtab are fascinated by America. They keep lists of English vocabulary words and collect contraband copies of Life magazine and Beatles cassettes. So when Saba suddenly finds herself abandoned, alone with her father in Iran, she is certain that her mother and sister have moved to America without her. Bereft, she aches for their company, and for the Western life she believes she is being denied. All her life she had been taught that "fate is in the blood," which must mean that twins will live the same life, even if separated by land and sea. Thus, over the next several years, as Saba falls in and out of love and struggles with the limited possibilities available to her as a woman in Iran, she imagines a simultaneous, parallel life, a Western version, for her sister. But where Saba's story has all the grit and brutality of real life in postrevolutionary Iran, her sister's life—as Saba envisions it—gives her a freedom and control that Saba can only dream of.
Filled with a colorful cast of characters, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea is told in a bewitching voice that mingles the rhythms of Eastern storytelling with straightforward Western prose and tells a story about the importance of controlling your own fate.
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"I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction and/or is into 80's music....which is me!!! What struck me was how recent the history of the Iranian revolution and how we really weren't educated about this in school. The main character, Saba, is unhappy as a traditional Iranian woman after the revolution because she remembers before when women were not so covered and oppressed. She imagines her life in America through imagining her twin live a parallel life to hers there. She loves American music and tv and imagines life in America to be composed of 22.5 minute episodes where everything is resolved in that time. Loved the language, setting and time period."
Danica (4 out of 5 stars)