Genre: Contemporary Young Adult that eventually morphs into Historical YA
My dad slipped a brittle manila envelope into my hands as he turned to smile at a slim woman with close-cropped gray hair, impeccable posture, and a uniform from airport security. At that moment, Grandma Orshina’s demand to see the oh-so-mysterious family relic seemed like sound evidence of debilitating dementia. Of course Dad was oblivious to the obvious. His mother’s insistence on stepping straight off the plane from Iraq and immediately snatching up the envelope was a surefire passport to a pair of cold handcuffs and a humiliating search if anyone saw our questionable package.
I stood in the company of a tall dark Assyrian man (my father) whose not-even-mildly-American name (Abrohom Yaqub Dayan) was sure to draw unnecessary attention. And although Emma sounds like an innocent enough moniker, Emma Nirari Dayan most certainly does not. Add to that the most annoying infant in the history of all Chicago, cooing with deceptive good humor from his stroller, and an enormous basket of walnut kifile, and we were not the most inconspicuous family picking up relatives at O’Hare that day.