Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bijou Roy-Ronica Dhar

Bijou Roy
Ronica Dhar
St. Martin’s, Jul 20 2010, $23.99
ISBN: 9780312551018

Nitish Roy left Calcutta for the United Sates. There he and his wife raised two daughters in America. When Nitish dies, having no sons, his oldest daughter Bijou agrees to take her beloved father back to India for a proper burial. Her mother and younger sister accompany Bijou who serves as the surrogate male in honor of her dad.

In India as his family prepares to spread Nitish’s ashes ehilr Bijou meets the son of her late father’s best friend, Naveen. Attracted to Naveen, Bijou believes he might be able to shed some light as to why her father left India and never returned until now. As she begins to understand Nitish’s political fiascos that led to his and his wife’s emigrating to the United States, she also looks deep at her family’s heritage and her Americanization; finding little comfort in either.

Bijou makes the tale entertaining and insightful, as she struggles to learn her parents’ culture and why they left India behind while also wondering where she belongs. The cast is incredibly strong as they bring to life contemporary India as seen through the lens of assimilated Indian-Americans. Fans will enjoy Bijou’s growing disconcerting awareness that she does not feel she fits in either world.

Harriet Klausner

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