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Everything Was Good-bye
Gurjinder Basran
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Everything Was Good-bye

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  834 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Official Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Entrant:

Publishers Weekly:

This wonderful coming of age story is centered around Meena, a young Indian woman growing up in Vancouver who has a foot in two different worlds -India and Canada. The rich fabric of everyday Indian life is the backdrop to the struggle of young second-generation immigrants on the rocky road to assimilation.
Published (first published January 1st 2008)
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May 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, may
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Penguin Group Canada|March 6, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-14-318257-3

Story Description:

The youngest of six daughters raised by a widowed mother, Meena is a young Indo-Canadian woman struggling to find her place in the world. She knows that the freedom experienced by others is beyond her reach. But unlike her older sisters, Meena refuses to accept a life dictated by tradition. Against her mother’s wishes, she falls for a young man named Liam who asks her to run away with him. She must then m
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
First off, I won this book on Goodreads First Reads.

On the back cover of this book, the novel is described as "heartwrenching." That is certainly the case. This novel is like bitter, expensive chocolate. It is rich, decadent, but not 100% enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't put this book down. The writing is the best I've read in a while and I'm always fascinated by books that explore cultural divides. However, this book is a bumpy ride and the lives of the main characters are filled with
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had trouble falling asleep after finishing this book last night. I read most of it this weekend because I couldn't leave it. I immediately felt attached to young Meena and even Liam and Meena's mother in her sorrow and perseverance. I saw my own hopefulness in Meena, yet hopelessness. I rooted for her the whole book, rejoicing in her victories.

The narrative flows perfectly never saying too much and always just enough. It is heartbreaking - to experience, to finish, to not be reading anymore.
Madeline Dahlman
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn't sure what to expect and I've been given so many similar books to review lately that I really wasn't looking forward to reading this...but now I want to pass it on to almost everyone I know...

The book focuses on Meena, a typical Canadian teenager growing up within a very traditional Indian family and community. As one of 6 sisters, there is a very strong interest in finding her an acceptable arranged marriage and embracing community values. Thi
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was SO good. Firstly, I would like to mention that, in compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads!

Now where to start? The reason I wanted to read this book so bad wasnt because it was listed as a giveaway. I am from Vancouver Island and born in Surrey BC. Meena, our MC lived in North Delta which is close. It's rare that I get to read a coming-of-age fiction novel from Canada, let alone pretty much right next door. The fact
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: canada
Started out promising, but disappointed in the ensuing melodrama.
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story. The characters were really easy to relate too. Sometimes the cultural references would be a bit confusing, but it was still an enjoyable read.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent first novel. This book really speaks about racisim and sterotypes. It helps to understand what ignorance still exists even today.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was very easy to read and the storyline was something I could relate to, being I grew up with alot of that culture. It's a great read!
For this review and others, visit the EditorialEyes Blog.
3.5 out of 5

I first heard about Everything Was Good-bye through an invitation to join Penguin Canada and the Chatelaine Book Club for an evening with author Gurjinder Basran. Having a chance to hang out in the Penguin offices, sipping wine, chatting with other bloggers, and listening to Gurjinder read from the book and then answer questions was a not-to-be-missed experience, and I suggest you read the great recaps on Nicole About Tow
3.5 stars. The pages flew by as Meninder "Meena" grows up in an Indian family in 1990's Surrey and Vancouver, battling with her desire to break free from cultural traditions and her strong familial ties. Being caught between worlds is a theme that is returned to again and again. Meena is growing up and flexing her adolescent wings in a houseful of sisters and a single mother, and as the book progresses through the years of her life, we see that there is a pattern of indecision to Meena's life. B ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theresa Southam
It took a long time to get into the swing of this book. The characters were not vivid immediately and either was the family. I couldn't see, smell, feel the settings even though I grew up among the communities described.

However its possibly worth slogging through the first two-thirds for the gripping endings (there seem to be several potentially). I will now feel Meena's struggle for quite some time!
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A deeply moving story that is painful to read but captures accurately the difficulty of being caught between two very different cultures. The way Basran describes the impossibility of navigating a balance between one's own desires and one's obligations to an all-encompassing family culture really resonated with me. Don't look for easy answers or a comforting ending; this book, much like real life, offers neither.
Linda Lpp
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read. Dealt with family estrangement; Young people challenged by traditional Indian expectations regarding dating, education desires, leaving home, arranged marriages, abusive situations...and so much more.
Jastinder Toor
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book in one night! It so enthralled me, love seeing the jap in the book.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting, but also very bittersweet
Apr 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just cannot go on. It’s so cliched. Rather like a high school novel involving immigrants. Too many stereotypes.... and the language is juvenile
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I don't think I've felt this heartbroken then when I finished Written in the Stars.
Kim Panek
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an emotional roller coaster that I really enjoyed and was sad to see end . Although at times it was written grammatically choppy at times, it was quite a story to get caught up in.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a stunning novel. I can’t remember the last time I used that adjective in regards to a book, but it’s the only one that can accurately fit it. The story is bold, truthful, and compelling. It’s fictional but might as well represent the thousands of young girls and women that struggle in a fight between cultural duties and personal needs. Certain instances rang very true to my own life, and usually I hate books like that. I read for escapism, knowledge, and to fuel my imagination; being re ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Friederike Knabe
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-lit
In her debut novel, "Everything Was Good-Bye", Gurjinder Basran tells the story of one happy-unhappy family, seen through the eyes of Meena, the youngest of six sisters. Set against the backdrop of suburban British Columbia, Basran paints a richly coloured portrait of a close-knit Punjabi community, caught between the traditions of "home" in India and their Canadian home, where their community is surrounded by a predominantly white, rather laid-back English-speaking society. With an impressively ...more
Forgotten Realms Queen
** spoiler alert ** Here we meet Meena, I think one of the youngest of six girls of a single mom who immigrated to Canada with her husband and six daughters when everyone was still very young, too young to remember India or England where they were born/lived respectively.

First off, this is a very powerful book, exploring the generational gap a lot of children have with immigrant parents, the parents often wanting to hold on to old ideas, customs, and traditions, and the children often wanting to
Kailey Mccarron
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When fingering through the shelves of my local bookstore, I stumbled upon Everything Was Goodbye, by Gurjinder Basran, the colorful and thoughtfully designed cover was what truly intrigued me. Everyone has heard the expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but honestly, the cover was what enticed me to devote myself in this novel. When I got home I was not certain to whether I would actually enjoy reading Everything Was Goodbye, but astonishingly enough I found I could not keep myself from ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I wonder if I just keep reading novels because I’m searching for exactly the right story that I want to read, and I read a lot of good books, but it’s never quite what I was hoping for. And then I read one like Everything Was Goodbye that is exactly right. It’s beautifully written, with imperfect characters and an achingly tragic love story. I got to cry all through the last few chapters--sometimes with happiness, sometimes with despair, sometimes with both at the same time.

Meena is t
Edwin Lang
I enjoyed this book immensely. I hope Ms Basran has the energy to write more and as well. I found the heroine and the choices she made believable. Sometimes we’d wish that other decisions and paths be taken but life is generally not like that. We tend to make questionable choices, suffer some harm and, if we are lucky, learn.

Meena seemed to me, as were almost each of Ms Basran’s characters, a prisoner of her culture. I recall – I think correctly – that the Talmud instructs us that we are product
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Gurjinder Basran’s debut novel, Everything Was Good-bye, was the winner of Mother Tongue Publishing's “Search for the Great BC Novel Contest” in 2010 and was awarded the 2011 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Gurjinder lives in British Columbia, Canada with her family.