Monday, November 5, 2018

November's Book of the Month--You Bring the Distant Near

November’s Book of the Month is YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR, by Mitali Perkins.

This story presents three generations of Das women, who struggle to balance multiple cultural identities.

We begin with the voices of Sonia and Tara Das, as they move with their mother from London, England, to Flushing, Queens, USA (they’re Bengalis who have also lived in Ghana). They join their father, who has gone ahead to find work. Flushing isn’t to Mrs. Das’s liking—too many people of color make her feel unsafe. Her daughters, however, quickly adapt. Budding actress Tara goes from channeling Twiggy to mastering Marcia Brady, while high-achieving, feminist Sonia finds peace by documenting her life in notebooks. Both girls navigate the ups and downs of the American dream, Das family-style.

The saga is later taken up by their daughters, Shanti and Annu, who are equally compelling characters exploring their own identities and futures. And, although the story mostly belongs to its various teenage narrators, Mrs. Das functions throughout as something of a backbone. Like the wonderfully complex, evolving human being that she is, her journey, possibly the most difficult of all, ultimately feels the most triumphant. YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR is the journey of strong, unique women who experience life on their own terms.


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