You Bring the Distant Near

Reviewed by Melanie on October 24, 2017


This book is amazing. The book follows the lives of an Indian family, specifically the daughters of a Bengali couple. Starry and Sunni are in high school, and have just moved to the US from London, following their father who has landed a job in New York. The book follows the girls throughout the 1960s and 70s, then in 1996 picks up the story of their daughters.

You Bring the Distant Near gripped me from the beginning. I don’t know a lot about Indian culture and I feel like this was a great glimpse into beautiful, even if somewhat controversial, culture. The story is easy to follow because of how it is presented and even the passage of time moves seamlessly. So much happens throughout the book, from life events, to real world events that make the story seem even more real. It would be easy to get lost and confused but Perkins makes it seem easy. The writing style is enjoyable and helps the story move forward as well.

The characters, even the mother and father, come to life. They’re written so that they seem like a real family, even with their issues, and arguments. When Starry and Sunni are children, the family dynamic feels real, even if they have issues, love binds them together.

The only thing I would have changed about this book is the ending. I wish we would have learned more about how things ended for every one instead of the book shifting to Didu’s perspective for the last chapter. Overall, I’d recommend this book to any one who enjoys contemporary fiction and learning about other cultures.

You Bring the Distant Near Book Cover You Bring the Distant Near
Mitali Perkins
Young Adult, Contemporary, Historical, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Family, Teen, Coming of Age, Romance
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
September 12, 2017
Kindle eBook

Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture--for better or worse. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve Bengal tigers and her Bengali identity--award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

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