I thoroughly enjoyed this book (although the footnotes were distracting - not the content, just the format, just saying).
Ayser is a lady who was born in Iraq, came to the US when she was a toddler, went to Saudi Arabia when she was a pre-teen and then came back to the US, where she has lived ever since. She is a modern Muslim woman who has tried to make sense of her world, even though there were times when she didn't feel like she fitted in.
As a fellow first generation person, there were a lot of things in this book which I could relate to. Pickled turnips versus pickled herring....yep!! Both foods are an acquired taste (never tried pickled turnips but the thought of pickled herring makes my mouth water), but if that is a part of your culture, that is that. I found myself saying "me too" quite a bit actually, even though I live in Australia and am not Muslim - but there is something about being the new kid on the block, over and over again, and being SO different to others around you. To missing the subtle social cues that others take for granted, and so on. Trying to straddle two very different worlds and not really fitting in with either one all that well, but eventually not caring so much.
This was a great read and if you are a child of immigrants, no matter where your parents are from, I think you will be able to relate. I really liked Ayser, and thought she was very brave documenting so much of her life. The overall feel is that she became very comfortable in her own skin and I really liked that. The phone calls with her parents were hilarious and so relatable! The parts of the book which were set in Saudi Arabia were a real eye-opener to me and made me happy not to have to live under such strict rules.