In the course of my regular reading year, I come across books that are surprising in various ways. Maybe someday, I will make a post that lists the different ways certain books caught me by surprise in both the good and the bad.
This was one that fell under the good category. It is a historical fiction, based in 1969 USA and talks of the life of one British Expat family who have built a home and brought up children in the US but live by British habits. This was new to read about, although I am sure there are tons of people who have experienced that. I only know of Indian families (relatives, obviously) who have balanced themselves over that divide.
It is, in particular, the coming of age story of Gavenia, the only one in her family to go to college. She is struggling in the hierarchical society of her college, as well as with her embarrassment over everything her family does. To top it all off, her siblings seem to have hit a rut as well. There are a lot of sober reflections that take place by the time the book ends.
I loved all the side characters and the narrative tone that persisted evenly throughout the book. The only reason that it was not a five star read for me was because of one plotline that I felt seemed too convenient to just tie up people’s lives. I know books with romance etc., usually do have ways of giving everyone a happily ever after, but somehow (although I liked both characters individually), I was not as excited by the way things turned out and how they ended (even if it was a vehicle to talk of the past and add colour to the already chaotic relationship).
Overall, it was a delightful read that I was wholly invested in. I liked how most of the other plotlines ended up! I would recommend it to readers of the genre as well as anyone on the lookout for a book that deals with heavy issues in a simpler manner.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.