Book Review: You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Published Sept. 12th 2017
320 Pages

Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story.

Tara’s family has just immigrated to New York from India via London. Her beauty draws everyone’s eyes, but she doesn’t let anyone truly see her.

Her younger sister, Sonia, is falling in love with a boy her mother can’t accept, cutting a deep wound in the Das family.

The daughter of a Bollywood star, Anna is both brilliant and shy, like the Bengal tigers she fights to protect.

Chantal is as fierce a dancer as she is a friend, student, and athlete. But will her wealthy new boyfriend be able to thrive in her shadow?

And Ranee, the center that binds them all together, is beginning to unravel.

As each Das woman decides which Bengali traditions to uphold in America and which to leave behind, one hard truth remains: some scars take generations to heal.- Goodreads

This was an interesting read for me. I wasn’t expecting much (tbh) and its not because of the author or the hype but a lot of contemporary books try so hard to reach someone that the flow and empathy to an issue is often is missed. In this read that wasn’t the case exactly.

It was written with care, respect and empathy towards several issues; colourism, stereotypes, family relationships, death, being bi-racial, racism and being an immigrant. A lot is going on and you have to pay attention to have a open heart in order to see the obvious as well as the underline. The author did a really good job to not over complicate things but to make it known that these issues are part of life and as easy as the author fit it in it is common in the lives of some people.

I really loved Tara and Sunny’s section of the book. Anna and Chantal come off more entitled then I would have liked but their lives is completely different from Tara and Sunny.

If you are expecting this book to be fast pace it really isn’t but you get wrapped into the lives of these girls and you come to live them, want to support them, relate and understand them. It is detailed without feeling like it is being dragged and it is complex without feeling as if the author is doing too much.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, the second half lost its spark for me but I liked how the author tied up loose ends.

3 Pickles

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