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Rainbow Rowell
Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
Christina Lauren, Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R
Veil of Roses - Laura Fitzgerald This is my favorite kind of "chick-lit" - heavier on the "lit," and having more substance than one might expect. (Does that upgrade it to "women's fiction"? I'm still not entirely clear on the distinctions.) On the other hand, the cover illustration makes it look like a more serious book than it actually is. While the plot of Veil of Roses isn't exactly groundbreaking - girl wants to find husband, but there are obstacles - and I found the outcome predictable, I really enjoyed reading this.

Laura Fitzgerald tells this story from an outsider's perspective, and Tami is an engaging character. Her desire to stay in the United States, and to experience the sort of freedom and choices that would not be available to her in contemporary Iran, gives a sense of urgency to her three-month visit to her her sister and brother-in-law in Tucson, Arizona; the most likely way to extend that stay is to find a husband herself, and that is the primary goal of her trip. Tami's experience of life in America, both among other immigrants and with natives, gave me a fresh appreciation for what we have in this country, particularly as women, when compared to other places in the world. Tami notices that too, and at times doesn't think that Westerners appreciate their freedoms enough; she sometimes struggles to make her new acquaintances understand that she comes from a very different worldview, and that they take certain things for granted that she cannot.

I didn't have much trouble visualizing the action in this novel as I read it, particularly in the last third of the book. With some tweaking, it's not hard to imagine this story on a movie screen, as a multicultural romantic comedy. I'd probably see that movie, actually.