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Download A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, by Dina Nayeri Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (274 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dina Nayeri Narrator: Sneha Mathan Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Charming and engrossing, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea is a vivid and evocative story about the places we love, the places we long for—and the places we can only imagine.”

    Karen Thompson Walker, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Narrator Sneha Mathan uses subtle tones and a soft voice to take listeners into the emotional world of the protagonist…The story is told with a poetic undercurrent of emotion, and the listener will be moved.”


  • “This is a very revealing story of what it was really like to live as a young woman in Iran in the 1980s, a tumultuous time, and what it is like perhaps, even now…Sneha Mathan reads with a convincing accent, taking Saba from her youth to young adulthood; she also uses her voice effectively to show how different her sister’s life in America is.”


  • “This ambitious novel set in northern Iran in the decade after the 1979 revolution contains not a teaspoon but a ton of history, imagination, and longing.

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Embracing and embraceable culturally far-reaching fiction.”

    Library Journal

  • “Elegant aspirational novel of life in postrevolutionary Iran…Lyrical, humane, and hopeful; a welcome view of the complexities of small-town life, in this case in a place that inspires fear instead of sympathy.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea is pure magic: lyrical, captivating, funny, and heartbreaking. Entering the world of the intriguing Saba Hafezi and her friends in a seaside village in northern Iran, I lost my heart.”

    Jean Kwok, author of the national bestseller Girl in Translation

  • “Captivating. It reminds us how storytelling can save our lives. A brilliant debut.”

    Michelle Huneven, author of Blame

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Charlie | 2/20/2014

    " A heartbreaking and triumphant story of love, loss, courage, chasing and letting go of dreams, storytelling, friendship, Iran...transportive and mesmerizing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kathleen | 2/14/2014

    " I had trouble getting into this one at first but ultimately I thought it was good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lisa | 2/11/2014

    " I received this book from the Library Thing early reviewers program. This is just the sort of book that I would expect to absolutely love. Set in Iran in the 1980's, it is about a twin who loses her mother and sister, and is grappling with having been raised to be open-minded even though she is stuck in the restrictive Iranian culture. This book is beautifully written and absolutely transports you into the world of 1980's Iran. It was an easy but rich read and the author is obviously extremely talented. Honestly, I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't enjoy it. Possibly it is just my own intense reaction to the paternalistic culture of Iran, but also it could be that I just didn't like the characters. It annoyed me that Saba kept insisting that her sister was alive, even though from the first pages (this isn't a spoiler) it's pretty clear that she's not. It was an inventive way for her to live out her fantasies, though, so it's a clever literary tool. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that you should probably read this one for yourself and be the judge. I can't tell you my resistance, but it does have all the makings of a fine novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Tessa | 2/7/2014

    " I couldn't get past the writing which was constantly heavy. "

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