Veil of Roses, by Laura Fitzgerald
I'm easily drawn into stories that take place in different countries or cultures, such as this novel about a young woman who leaves Iran to come to the U.S., determined to find a man to marry so she can immigrate permanently.
Tamila Soroush arrives in Arizona to visit her sister and her husband and study English...although her primary purpose is to get hitched. Her sister is determined to find her a good Persian husband...within 3 months. She befriends the others in her English class and meets Ike, a barista at a nearby Starbucks. As you can guess, she falls in love with Ike...not one of the nice Persian men she's supposed to marry.
What really bothered me about this book was that Tamila seems to speak near-perfect English. She only makes one error in her English conversation, which is to use the word "foots" instead of "feet." What is particularly strange about this is that she also uses words and expressions such as "clandestine," "incorrigible," "somehow I doubt that," corrupted," "what-ever (emphasis on the 'ever'), "that's for sure," and "crazy as a loon." I taught English as a foreign language for three years, and very few new English speakers speak like this...and I'm guessing they don't teach English in school in Iran! The prose is flowery and overdone at times, such as "(My smile) is Julia Roberts huge, only by now, it is all mine and it is for real. And it does not need to be surgically corrected."
The plot is predictable, but that's expected for this kind of book (the cover, after all, is pink), but the ending was a bit different than what I expected. It was an easy read, and sometimes that's okay...but it could have been so much more.