Growing up in a small fishing village in 1980s Iran, 11-year-old Saba Hafezi and her twin sister, Mahtab, are fascinated by America. They keep lists of English words and collect contraband copies of Life magazine and Bob Dylan cassettes. So when Saba finds herself abandoned, alone with her father in Iran, she is certain that her mother and twin have moved to America without her.
All her life, Saba has been taught that 'fate is written in the blood,' which convinces her that twins will live the same life, even if separated by land and sea. As she grows up in the warmth and community of her local village, falls in and out of love, and struggles with the limited possibilities available to her as a woman in Iran, Saba envisions that there is another way for her story to unfold. She imagines a simultaneous, parallel life -- a Western version, for her sister, filled with a freedom and control that Saba can only dream of.
A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea is told in a bewitching voice that mingles the rhythms of Eastern storytelling with straightforward Western prose, to tell a wholly original story about the importance of controlling your own fate.
'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, The Age of Miracles
'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. Powerful storytelling kept me riveted from the first page, but this is also a keenly intelligent investigation into the nature of narrative, the kaleidoscope of stories, dreams, and memories that define us, and how we create our own pasts and futures.' - Jean Kwok, author of Girl in Translation