Friday August 15th, 1997. Two tiny Korean babies are delivered to two very different Baltimore families.
Every year, on the anniversary of 'Arrival Day' the two families celebrate together, with more and more elaborately competitive parties, as little Susan and Jin-ho take roots and become American.
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE**
**ANNE TYLER HAS SOLD OVER 1 MILLION BOOKS WORLDWIDE**
'One of my favourite authors' Liane Moriarty
'She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan
'Anne Tyler has no peer' Anita Shreve
'A masterly author' Sebastian Faulks
Tyler (Breathing Lessons) encompasses the collision of cultures without losing her sharp focus on the daily dramas of modern family life in her 17th novel. When Bitsy and Brad Donaldson and Sami and Ziba Yazdan both adopt Korean infant girls, their chance encounter at the Baltimore airport the day their daughters arrive marks the start of a long, intense if sometimes awkward friendship. Sami's mother, Maryam Yazdan, who carefully preserves her exotic "outsiderness" despite having emigrated from Iran almost 40 years earlier, is frequently perplexed by her son and daughter-in-law's ongoing relationship with the loud, opinionated, unapologetically American Donaldsons. When Bitsy's recently widowed father, Dave, endearingly falls in love with Maryam, she must come to terms with what it means to be part of a culture and a country. Stretching from the babies' arrival in 1997 until 2004, the novel is punctuated by each year's Arrival Party, a tradition manufactured and comically upheld by Bitsy; the annual festivities gradually reveal the families' evolving connections. Though the novel's perspective shifts among characters, Maryam is at the narrative and emotional heart of the touching, humorous story, as she reluctantly realizes that there may be a place in her heart for new friends, new loves and her new country after all.