You Bring the Distant Near

Mitali Perkins. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-30490-4
Perkins (Bamboo People) delivers an unforgettable novel that spans decades and continents as it moves among three generations of Indian women, some new immigrants to the U.S., all struggling to bridge cultures. She begins in 1965 with sisters Sonia and Tara Das as they move from Ghana to London and then New York City, eager for new opportunities but very aware of the cultural expectations of their Bengali parents. The stories of Sonia’s romantic and political rebellion (she’s a devoted liberal and later marries a black man, sparking a rift with her mother) and Tara’s acting aspirations segue into those of Chantal and Anna, their daughters, as the novel jumps ahead to 1998. It’s a profound and moving story of personal growth—perhaps most dramatically in the case of Sonia and Tara’s mother, Ranee, whose dourness and preoccupation with tradition give way to a broader embrace of American culture as she takes to the role of grandmother. Perkins’s vibrantly written exploration of a family in transition is saturated with romance, humor, and meaningful reflections on patriotism, blended cultures, and carving one’s own path. Ages 12–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/17/2017
Release date: 09/12/2017
Ebook - 978-0-374-30491-1
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