Colonel Behrani has had to endure many things. Multiple low-end jobs. Culture shock as an Iranian immigrant. Struggling to keep his family together, dignified, and within the cultural norms of his community. He finds his opportunity to advance in a foreign country, called 'The Promise Land,' when he finds out he can invest the remaining sum of his money into a house and hopefully come out and make a profit by selling it for more later in the future. Little does he know he's about to entangle himself in a rather dire situation involving the incompetent nature of the county. The house which he is to buy is repossessed from its rightful owner by error. Instead of mailing a notice to the accurate house, the county charges Kathy Nicolo with an unpaid business tax. A tax she has never owed, and cannot prove to be responsible for by the time they evacuate her and sell her house.
This story just broke my heart. Neither part is at fault here, only the county's erroneous actions are to blame. And yet, these two parties have to battle over the house. It would have been better for them if they had worked together and gone against the county so that both could have come out better from this ordeal, but something far from that happens. Eventually, the situation just gets much, much worse than just a legal fight over some property. Andre Dubus III does a fantastic job in blossoming the picture for you beginning to end. This book is much more than just a fight for a 'home' or a 'house,' it is about culture, backgrounds, societal relationships, individual values, honors, and dignities, marital dynamics, geographical connotations, and definitely lifestyles and desperation. This story will shake you to your core as you see the battle between the faith that hard work, sacrifice, and discipline pays off and the amount of control you can really have over that.