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Family Life by Akhil Sharma - Review

Monday, August 15, 2022

I got this book in my A Box of Stories subscription, which I have set to come every three months and which I enjoy so I decided to keep going with it. I haven't read anything from it in a while, but again I was rooting through the books by the side of my bed and came upon this. The blurb intrigued me so I started it immediately, but the blurb actually doesn't give the whole of the story at all. 

When Ajay is eight and living in Delhi with his brother and parents, the family decides to emmigrate to America. Fuelled by dreams of living the American Dream, first of all Ajay's father moves to the US where he quickly finds work. The book is set in the late 70s and later the 80s. Ajay, Birju and their mother have to sell all their posessions to move. Once they get there, Ajay finds his father changed and his mother, who used to be a teacher, has to get a job in a garment factory. 

Ajay and Birju spend each summer with their aunt and uncle in Arlington, Virginia. Their second summer there, Birju has an accident that changes everyone's life forever. The rest of the book is about Ajay's life after this, from his childhood to when he graduates from university. I didn't expect the book to go this way at all - I was expecting a story about immigrants in a strange land. But I really liked the book anyway! I'm giving it four out of five. 

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