You Bring the Distance Near by Mitali Perkins Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse.

From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity.

Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new

Disclaimer:I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:4/5 stars

Plot:

You Bring The Distance Near is one of those books that though is classified as Young Adult can be seen as an adult book which is honestly the best type of book. We follow five girls from the same family across three generations as they deal with first loves and their culture among other things.

I loved everything that was discussed in this book, and loved seeing the girls adapt to American culture. I also thought it was a really interesting way to tell the story as we started in 1973 and finished in 2006 so we got to see the characters progression and got to be introduced to new characters.The subjects that were addressed were very relevant and done in a very poignant manner. I really liked the discussion of racism and also racism within certain cultures as we saw one  of the characters marrying an African-American and a biracial child being born out of that marriage and how the two families  dealt with that. A certain disdain towards black people was portrayed which I think is important to discuss in books like these.

One issue I did have with the plot was the pacing of the novel. I felt as though they focused a lot on two of the girls:Tara and Sonia for the majority of the book and then the other two girls: Chantal and Anna were kind of like afterthoughts, I think if would’ve been a little more interesting if an equal amount of time was spent on the two generations of girls instead of really developing the first generation but not as much the second.

Characters

I thoroughly enjoyed all five girls that were the focus of the story and especially identified with Sonia as she was very bookish and intellectual and I just love reading books with characters like hers as I think they’re very important. As i said previously, I would’ve liked to see more development from Chantal and Anna’s part and while I really loved what I saw, I found it kind of odd that their storylines weren’t as developed. Another thing that I found kind of odd was the fact that Sonia’s and Tara’s mother was considered the fifth women despite the fact that her perspective really wasn’t something that was expanded or shed light upon.This wasn’t really the fault of the author but more of the synopsis.

Another aspect that I think could’ve been expanded on is that of the love interests.While all four girls have boys that they fall in love with, I feel as though we really didn’t get enough expansion in regards to these love interests and would’ve liked just a little bit more insight. This is a pretty short book so I think that had the book been like maybe 100 pages longer, a lot of things could’ve been expanded on which would’ve made the book a lot better.

 

 

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