This lighthearted memoir chronicles the author's move from Iran to America in 1971 at age seven, the antics of her extended family and her eventual marriage to a Frenchman. The best parts will make readers laugh out loud, as when she arrives in Newport Beach, Calif.,""a place where one's tan is a legitimate topic of conversation."" She is particularly good making gentle fun of her father, who loves Disneyland and once competed on the game show Bowling for Dollars. Many of the book's jokes, though, are groan inducing, as in,""the only culture that my father was interested in was the kind in yogurt."" And the book is off-kilter structurally. After beginning with a string of amusing anecdotes from her family's first years stateside, one five-page chapter lurches from seventh grade in California to an ever so brief mention of the Iranian revolution, and then back to California, college and meeting her husband. In addition, while politics are understandably not Dumas's topic, the way she skates over the subject can seem disingenuous. Following the revolution, did her father really turn down the jobs offered to him in Iran only because""none were within his field of interest""? Despite unevenness, Dumas's first book remains a warm, witty and sometimes poignant look at cross-cultural misunderstanding and family life. Immigrants from anywhere are likely to identify with her chronicle of adapting to America.
Reviewed on: 06/01/2003 Release date: 06/01/2003 Genre: Nonfiction