You Bring The Distant Near by Mitali Perkins | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

You Bring The Distant Near by Mitali Perkins | Book ReviewYou Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
Also by this author: Bamboo People
on September 12th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Family, Multigenerational, Humorous, Social Themes, Emigration & Immigration
Pages: 320
Format: eARC, ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780374304904

A 2017 National Book Award Longlist Title with five starred reviews!One of School Library Journal's Best Books of 2017!One of The New York City Public Librariy's Notable 50 Best Books for Teens!

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, award-winning author Mitali 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.

You Bring The Distant Near by Mitali Perkins 100% deserves all the praise. IT IS SO GOOD. Also, it deserves all kinds of attention. I can’t say for sure if it has been getting attention on the bookish internets because I’ve really just been holed up disconnected, reading all the books and hanging with my kiddo instead of engaging. Anyways, You Bring The Distant Near is the second book I’ve read by Perkins (see: Bamboo People) but now I know FOR SURE I AM GOING TO READ HER OTHER BOOKS. And get all shouty because I get shouty about things that are good.

Perkins’ latest book follows basically six characters. It opens up with a swim meet when character Sonia is kind of young. Then it transitions to Sonia and her sister, Tara, moving to New York with their mother to meet up with their father who got a job in the United States. We get to see Sonia and Tara become kind of Americanized but also keep some of their roots as well. From there the story goes on to the next generation with cousins Anna and Chantel, again exploring identity. The book then ends with a focus on Ranee, the matriarch of this wonderful family.

Sonia and Tara have their part of You Bring The Distant Near set in the 1970s. That kind of made me (born in the late 80s) feel young. Sonia is incredibly smart and really into books. She also kinds herself getting into the equal rights movement and becoming a feminist. I am here for that. Her sister Tara isn’t as academically inclined, but she’s smart and valued too. Tara is a gifted actress and finds herself taking on different roles in real life to kind of help her adjust — from Twiggy to Marcia. I found myself really interested in reading about Sonia and Tara.

Anna and Chantel are cousins and obviously the children of Sonia and Tara. Anna ends up moving from India to New York City and staying with her grandmother. She goes to school with Chantel. It is a bit of a learning curve for her as she must adjust to the culture, the same as her mother and aunt did. However, she really does find her niche and you can’t help but root for her. As for Chantel, she struggles a little bit with her identity being multiracial. She ends up really being pretty cool though – a popular athlete.

You Bring The Distant Near by Mitali Perkins is a beautifully written book about multiple generations of women in a Bengali family. It is fascinating to see how time impacts this family. I loved seeing how even Ranee is a dynamic character. This book is engrossing. It’s well paced. And well, the characterization cannot be beat. Definitely would recommend to you if you’re into stories that span decades.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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