I love Anne Tyler’s novels and last week I picked up Digging to America for 50p, which was very pleasing. Two Korean babies are adopted on the same day by two families in Baltimore. Ah ha! you might think: an issues novel about overseas adoption! Wrong. The twist is that one of the adoptive families is Iranian and the book becomes an exploration of what it means to be an immigrant; what it’s like to live in a culture not your own, speaking in a second language; what is an American? The little girls are catalysts for the ever closer relationship between the two families. If I’d known there was so much about bereavement in this book I might not have started it but Anne Tyler is one of those writers who makes you say, ‘Oh, that’s so true.’
Reading this, I couldn’t help imagining how Jodi Picoult would have dealt with the same subject. I do enjoy reading Picoult, her stories are gripping, but that’s all there is to them and she doesn't do humour. With Anne Tyler you get truth and wisdom about the human heart and you feel better for reading her.