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You Bring the Distant Near

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  3,498 ratings  ·  776 reviews
Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story.

Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve her Bengali identity.
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  3,498 ratings  ·  776 reviews

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Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
4 Stars

A book about five complex Indian women and their relationship with culture and race?? How is nobody talking about this gem??

Starting in the 1960s and working towards modern day, this follows a young Bengali family as they move to NYC-- notably Ranee and her children, Tara and Sonia. As the story continues on, we learn more about these characters (Tara secretly wants to perform on stage; Sonia joins the 70s feminist movement) and more are introduced, making this book primarily character-dr
Joce (squibblesreads)
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites of the year.
- Spans countries and multiple generations of women
- Discusses intersectional issues
- Complex characters that stay with you for the whole book
- Introduces vocational trade careers in high school like fashion, and sports played in India
- Talks about Islamophobia and prejudice against women who wear headscarves and hijabs, and changes in attitude after 9/11

It’s so good. I’m obsessed.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Macmillan for allowing me to read and review this absolutely beautiful book by Mitali Perkins. What a gorgeous read. I absolutely devoured this multi-generational tale of love and family as seen through the eyes of a Bengali-American family.

The book this reminds me the most of is the "Joy Luck Club" although I found this far more humorous and uplifting. It begins in Ghana with a pair of sisters as young girls, and we get to watch little vignettes of their lives
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Wow! This was another surprisingly great YA read. Actually it’s a book that encompasses several genres aside from YA- women, literary, historical, and general fiction. Told in different perspectives of the Das women from 1965 to the era, the readers get to see how the lives of these American women with a Bengali heritage transform and I absolutely enjoyed it.

“Maybe being American means you still have room in the heart for other things. Old things. Good things.

I loved all the pers
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This was enjoyable, but so, so simplistically written. I couldn't engage with the story at all because it felt so transparent, like there was nothing underneath its words for me to grapple with. To put it simply, the storytelling was straightforward to the point of being reductive. Frankly, it ended up feeling like more of a middle-grade than a YA book to me. That's not to say that middle-grade is bad, just that it's not a genre I typically reach for or enjoy.

That being said, I don't want to un
3.5 stars

A story of cultural adjustments told basically in a series of romantic relationships. It is also "issue"-driven, but not entirely bluntly so.
Saajid Hosein
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book brought the distant near, but left my wig distant. Loved it! One of my new faves. Read it immediately.
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

When a book grabs hold of you and keeps you engaged right up to the end, it is safe to say that it is going to be a favourite. You Bring the Distant Near is a beautifully written saga that tells the story of the Das family and their experiences immigrating to the United States. Told in alternating perspectives, Perkins gives her readers so many unique and interesting points of view through her well-developed female characters. The Indian customs and culture that ar
Lilly (Lair Of Books)
***5 STARS***

Full review can also be found on Lair Of Books:


You Bring the Distant Near truly felt like a gift I was unwrapping Christmas morning. It’s not often that we get stories based on Indian culture yet here we have a multi-generational book spanning the lives of 5 women in the Das family. We first meet Ranee & Rajeev Das, the parents of Tara & Sonia Das as they move from Bangladesh to London & finally Queens, New York. Rajeev Das is a hard wor
CW: Parental death and exploration of grief, racism and colorism (both challenged), aftermath of 9/11.

When I attended the NOVATeen Book Festival in Virginia in early 2018, I was ecstatic because it was my first ever book event. And I had the amazing opportunity to have some lovely conversations with YA authors. One such convo was with Jennifer Matthieu (the author of Moxie) and when she realized I was an Indian immigrant, she recommended me this book by Mitali Perkins with the idea that I would
Jananee (headinherbooks)
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
This was a wonderful multigenerational tale that follows a Bengali family who immigrate to America and mainly revolves around 5 women and their different relationships with culture, identity, feminism, religion and so much more. Not only was this a fantastic portrayal of South Asian culture and familial dynamics, it also explored biracial identity, Islamaphobia and anti-Blackness within Asian communities and was just a really great read all up.
A complex and lovely intergenerational story about culture, about citizenship, about family, and romance. Each of the five characters are distinct, but what I loved is seeing where and how each of the five women make one another whole -- and how their different interests and passions run through their family.

My only real complaint is that the sudden shift to focus on Didu/Ranee in the end is sudden and that the pacing in this book is sometimes a little uneven. I think that's because I could hav
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this on the bus ride to school and finished it within a few hours! A wonderfully engaging read. You Bring The Distant Near is centered around five complex, strong women as they detail their experiences navigating life, friendships and first loves all while grappling with their identities, cultures and personal beliefs. Written in numerous perspectives, readers are swept right into the lives of these delightful characters.

The main thing that I enjoyed about this novel is how wel
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I seriously wish more people would read this book. One of my absolute favorite books EVER. I love this family, and I'm so lonely. I can't talk about this book with anyone because they haven't read it yet!

I'm not pushy when it comes to recommending books, but if this book was a person, I would marry them. Instantly.

What this book includes:

- First love and how challenging introducing and merging families are when you're from very different ethnic backgrounds. Outside of the black and white binary
Review to come sometime soon. This was an excellent tale of multicultural teens from one family through the generations. Each young woman had a distinct personality and set of experiences that really stuck with me. One of my favorite reads this year.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maraia by: Joséphine (Word Revel)
I highly recommend You Bring the Distant Near. This may be a short novel, but it has a lot to say. It deals with race, religion, immigration, multiculturalism, multiple generations, and fitting in somewhere new. These are the kind of stories we need!

4.5 stars
Kate Olson
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I absolutely LOVE this book! It may be categorized as YA but I honestly think it would do equally well or better marketed as a grown up read. Fabulous.
Samantha (WLABB)
Yeah, I am crying again -- happy tears, I swear! That was really special. I just wanted to stay with the Das women forever!
This was such a beautiful multigenerational story, that carried us through forty years of fierce Das women. I fell in love with this family, and just didn't want the book to end.

•Pro: This was a heartfelt look at a family's history. We celebrated with the Das family, as well as grieved with them. We
Aneta Bak
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
You Bring the Distant Near is a wonderful and heartwarming novel about what it truly feels like to be an Immigrant in another country.

There are three options for an Indian girl, either study hard and become a doctor, study hard and become an engineer, or get married off. This rule isn't a problem for Sonia, she has outstanding grades, the issue is that she has fallen in love with an African-American man. Tara doesn't have the grades to become an engineer or doctor, and time is running out for he
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the shifting stories - from five women in the same family but different generations and drastically different experiences. Sweet detail in "everyday" but intensely important-at-the-time experiences, like the first day in a new school, and driving the boyfriend's precious car - wonderful. It builds a tapestry of immigrant struggle, prejudice, self-definition, identity - but that's all secondary to simply relatable stories about girls growing up. ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it

Full review to come

This is one of the picks for #BookNetReads this year, so we'll have a video discussion up hopefully soon. My biggest complaints about the story were all the ways I wanted more-- more time with each character so that it felt truly multi-generational, more plot, more variety in each person's story. I loved a lot of the relationships, I loved the interracial relationships, I loved the grandmas, and I loved the exploration of identity.

Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
Wow, this was wonderful.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This multi-generational story was about the Das family, a globe trotting Bengali family that coped with keeping traditions alive yet acclimating to American society. We meet sisters Sonia and Tara in the early 1970's once they move to NY, and they are fully fleshed out with distinct personalities and aspirations. We have time jumps throughout the book, so we can see how the family has changed after a few years in America and who the girls married, but then significant jumps have us meet their da ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is Jhumpa Lahari for the YA set. And that’s a very good thing, indeed! Three generations of female Indian-American voices, from the Brady Bunch years in Flushing, Queens to post-911 Manhattan. I could confidently recommend this engrossing book to mature 8th graders because there isn’t any of what comes to pass as common in contemporary YA (graphic language, sex, drug and alcohol use, etc) but that doesn’t mean Mitali Perkins shies away from complex themes of racial identity, ethnic identity ...more
Clare Snow
"I like having three Indian grandparents, four if you count my dead grandfather. Here in New York, or back in India, they make me feel grounded. Like a tree with long roots."

I like this. A sweeping family saga across three generations of a Bengali family in the US and India. I would never have picked it up if not for the Lit CelebrAsian Book Club

It's their Feb/Mar book. There's twitter chat 24-25 March @LitCelebrAsian Looking forward to it.

And my first b
Tanita Davis
This book is a crossover; the characters are young people who age throughout the book, making it heartfelt and accessible for people of all ages. This book is worth every single one of the four starred reviews it has earned so far in print journals ... and many more.

Sometimes you need a hopeful book to lift you out of the realities of this world. It's not like there's no pain here, but there's HOPE to lift you aloft, and as Emily Dickinson says, it sings, and "it never stops at all." Absolutely
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
TW: Racism and colorism (challenged), parental death, grief

This was such a heartfelt, amazing read. You Bring the Distant Near follows three generations of indian women: A woman (Ranni), her two daughters (Sonia and Tara) and their two daughters (Chantel and Anna). It expands from the 70s up until present time and gosh, it was so heartbreaking in some parts, but all in all it was hopeful and real and the kind of story I really love. It's highly character driven and the characters are complex an
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
really loved this book. it explores the experiences of being an immigrant, being multicultural, and being multiracial through the stories of five women in three generations of an Indian Bengali family loving in New York. they had distinct personalities and their own ways of seeing the world. also loved the explicit feminist themes. :)
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow! This book was just SO beautiful! I was a little nervous going into it though. After reading the first two chapters I closed the book and set it down on my shelf. I was scared to pick it up again because I felt like I was going to hate it. We are introduced to two sisters (Sonia and Tara) and their mother. I made assumptions about all 3 of them based on those first two chapters, and it worried me that it would be more of that same attitude and behaviour the whole way through….. not the case. ...more
The grandmothers in this book are ridiculous and wonderful. RTC
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Mitali Perkins has written many novels for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (nominated for the National Book Award) Rickshaw Girl (a NYPL best 100 Book for children in the past 100 years, film adaptation coming in 2021), Bamboo People (an ALA Top 10 YA novel), and Forward Me Back to You, which won the South Asia Book Award for Younger Readers. She currently writes and resides in ...more

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