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You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
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You Bring the Distant Near

by Mitali Perkins

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1478115,947 (4.12)3

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This book traces several generations of the Das family as they move from India to Ghana to London to the United States. Early in the book chapters focus on Starry (Tara) and Sonia as they adjust to life in the United States. Later the book focuses on their daughters and at the heart of the story is Rani, the family matriarch. The family goes through tragedy and triumph all the while exploring what it means to hold on to heritage and to be American. ( )
  ewyatt | Jun 20, 2018 |
Honor book for Walter Dean Myers award ( )
  ChristianR | Mar 7, 2018 |
@kidlitexchange #partner Thanks to #kidlitexchange for sharing the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins. This book travels through time beginning in 1973 and ending in 2006. Sonia and Tara begin to test the boundaries of their Bengali parents and soon their children will test their own boundaries and fight for their choices. Life isn't easy in America whether you were born here or moved here and after 9/11 choices were made to dramatically change this family forever. A wonderful story that shows how 4 women fought with everything in them to be who they wanted to be. Review also posted on Instagram @borenbooks, Go Read, Goodreads/StacieBoren, Twitter @jason_stacie, Amazon and my blog at readsbystacie.com ( )
  SBoren | Mar 4, 2018 |
The story of three generations of Bengali women (from 1965-2006), starting in the middle with sisters Tara (Star or Starry) and Sonia (Sunny or Mishti), as they move from Ghana to London to New York to New Jersey. Their daughters then take over the narrative, and then it loops back to their mother, Ranee, still moving forward in time. Tara and Sonia have the first two thirds of the book, with their daughters Anna (Anu) and Chantal (Shanti) taking over the last third, and Ranee concluding. It's effective, though as a reader I felt most closely connected to and interested in Tara and Sonia, because I spent more time with them. All of the characters are sympathetic, though, as they struggle with the ordinary coming-of-age challenges as well as cross-cultural and racial ones; Tara marries another Bengali man, while Sonia marries an African-American man. The topic of skin color hierarchy comes up frequently, starting when the Das family moves to Flushing and Ranee thinks it's a bad neighborhood because the residents are mostly Black. Chantal's identity is both Bengali and Black, and Anna identifies more as Bengali than American, but both girls work to navigate these identities. You Bring the Distant Near is a wonderful, satisfying story of familial and romantic love.

Quotes

Where am I from? Can the answer be stories and words, some of theirs, some of mine? (Sonia, 35)

"You read her diary! That's wrong, Ma!"
"I have to find out what's going on in her head, don't I? It's my duty to keep her safe."
"You'll make her dangerous instead." (Starry and Ranee, 75)

Am I ever going to push back when people try to sideline me? (Chantal, 201)

"Not everybody likes change."
"If you don't say yes to change, Anu, life starts to leave you behind." (Anna and Ranee, 230) ( )
  JennyArch | Feb 13, 2018 |
I enjoyed the book, but I do not understand how it ended up on so many best of 2017 lists. It covers three generations of women in the same family and their stories are told in a series of vignettes, but some of the stories are not that interesting and some of the characters change in ways that are not revealed in the novel and those changes would have been interesting to experience. I wanted more and felt somehow unsatisfied at the end of the book. ( )
  SGKowalski | Jan 22, 2018 |
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Epigraph
Thou has made me known to friends whom I knew not. Thou has given me seats in homes not my own. Thou has brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger. I am uneasy at heart when I have to leave my accustomed shelter; I forgot that there abides the old in the new, and that there also though abides.

- Rabindranath Tagore, from "Poems"
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For Jacqueline Perkins Draine, my American mom
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The swimmers have finished their races and are basking in the sun.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374304904, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:07:13 -0400)

From 1965 through the present, an Indian American family adjusts to life in New York City, alternately fending off and welcoming challenges to their own traditions.

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Mitali Perkins is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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