by Hirsh Sawhney
I love a great coming of age story, especially one set amidst real tragedy. In South Haven we meet young Siddharth and his family-- mom, dad, and older brother. Mom is the center of their world whether his father would like to admit it or not. She's taken from the family in a tragic accident which leaves Siddharth to navigate life with just his father and brother. However, since father and eldest son don't see eye to eye on most subjects, they are too caught up in their own battle to fully help Siddharth. Both do try valiantly to lead him in what they perceive is the right direction but (thankfully) he's determined to find his own way. This book became insight into what the life of an South Asian family is like in suburbia here in the US. But it remained a sharp, sensitive comment on adolescence and how much we still struggle to do well by our youth. Sawhney leaves us with a good cliffhanger in the end which I admired. He didn't have to tell us how each character turned out in life but lets us imagine their further existence.
If you're in the Jersey City area be sure to join WORD Bookstore for an event with Hirsh Sawhney on May 19 at 7:30pm. He is in conversation with Jonathan Corcoran, The Rope Swing.