Decades after an Indian couple immigrate to the American Midwest, raise a family, and become part of a diaspora of doctors and engineers, the middle-aged mother becomes terminally ill. Her impending death exacerbates the cultural divide between herself and her children, Mala and Ronak.
Though both are now married, and parents themselves, they continue to struggle with what it means to be first-generation children of immigrants. Poignantly the mother—who remains unnamed and tells the story from her perspective—defines her own and her children’s experience: “This country gave us clean quiet luxury and charged us nothing but our children.” When Mala asks her mother to share her Indian recipes, the women forge a deeper bond as they navigate one crisis after another.
In this novel, the author’s sharp eye for detail evokes the smells and tastes of Indian cuisine as well as the cultural and religious struggles of a Hindu person facing death. (Metropolitan)