cover image Grown-Up Pose

Grown-Up Pose

Sonya Lalli. Berkley, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-451-49096-4

In Lalli’s sparkling latest (after The Matchmaker’s List), an Indian-American woman seeks to claim her independence after separating from her husband. Ten years earlier, 30-year-old Vancouver nurse and yoga devotee Anu Desai married her first love, Neil; now they have a five-year-old daughter, Kanika. Almost a year into their separation, Anu still struggles to acclimate to single life while pushing back against the good girl image she’s carefully cultivated for her traditional parents. After a sudden breakup with her boyfriend, Ryan, Anu decides to leave Kanika with Neil and take the trip of a lifetime to find herself. She buys a one-way ticket to stay with her parents in London, where they’re living while her mother earns her master’s degree, but before leaving, she impulsively sinks her savings into a failing Vancouver yoga studio. The studio and her family are always on her mind during the short trip, while she sees the sights. When a crisis prompts Anu to return home, she realizes that independence doesn’t have to come at the cost of her family. Anu’s trajectory to reconcile her close-knit family’s cultural traditions and expectations with her desire to be a thoroughly modern woman, and most importantly, a role model for her daughter, is vividly realized. Lalli explores the generational divide with sensitivity and humor, and Anu’s parents are a particular delight. Readers will root for Anu all the way up through the sweet and satisfying conclusion. (Mar.)