Thank you to Berkley for allowing me to read this early on Netgalley! This book releases to the public on February 16, 2021.
This book was a fun ride, and I was engrossed from beginning to end in Serena’s story. I found her character to be unique, entertaining, likable, and strong, and her inner narrative had me invested in her form the very beginning.
Told in a dual perspective (one being Serena in 1st person and another being her mother in 3rd person), it really made for a slow burn as we learned about some of the past heartaches in both of their lives. The character development was slow and steady, and Serena’s perspective almost felt like a “coming of age” story despite the fact that she’s nearing 40.
Another thing I loved about this book was the portrayal of the different cultures. As immigrants, Serena’s parents bring tradition to the story – everything from them speaking Punjabi to the foods that they cooked (I 100% Googled roti as I read to find out what it was, and it sounds delicious). Raised in America, we watch Serena grapple with wanting to honor her parents while still living out the dreams she has for herself. The dual perspective allowed us to see insights into both sides of this reality for many first generation immigrant families in an eye opening, heartwarming, and tender way.
I had two overall complaints about this book, the first being that we didn’t get enough from her mother’s perspective. I wanted to know more of her back story. The second complaint I had was that the love story that played out felt a bit forced for me. I would’ve been happy just seeing Serena come into her own without ending up with a man by her side!
Overall, a solid story that I think many will enjoy! 3.75 stars.
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