America for Beginners
Pival Sengupta has done something she never expec ...more
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This is a fictional story of Pival Sengupta, a wealthy widow from Kolkata, India. Her husband Ram has been dead for several months and she decides to go to the United States, ostensibly to take a guided tour, but in reality to find out if her gay son Rahi is alive or dead. When he came out to his parents, his father disowned him and forbade him from all future contact. Ram received a phone call shortly after Rahi announced that he was gay. Ram told Pival that Rahi was dead. But she never ...more
In a world where nations and society are constantly looking inwards, America for Begin ...more
Everything wrong with America for Beginners by Leah Franqui.
(Yes I am writing all the wrongs, as many people have already written about what they liked about this book so I am not spendin ...more
I was charmed by the main character, Pival Sengupta, from the first page. I sympathized with her desire to flee her suffocating home in Kolkata after her husband’s death and, daringly, travel solo to America for a cross-country trip in search of her ...more
What a heartwarming and eye opening view of the US from an foreigner's perspective ~ I learned so much about my own country during the course of this novel, as well as about India and Bangladesh. AMERICA FOR BEGINNERS brings us an Indian widow learning to be alone and coming to terms with her son's sexuality and her own former classist/homophobic beliefs, all during a whirlwind trip across the US with a motley pair of traveli ...more
In a story rich with character and charm, Leah Franqui, has more than delivered in this debut work.
While there are numerous characters who’s stories weave life into this story, the focus falls on five lives, stemming from vastly different worlds, and each is somewhat lost; until their lives intersect. Each one having something to teach and much to learn.
For most of the story we travel across America ...more
We begin with Mrs. Pival Sengupta, a recent Bangladeshi widow, planning a trip to America. We learn that Pival had an unhappy marriage to a man who verballly abused her, and banished their only son Rahi for a reason we come to learn later. Pival is "going to America to find her son or his lover. And to kill herself."
In America for Beginners we meet Pival Sengupta who is from India. She recently lost her husband. She decided to do something that is totally outside of her comfort zone- that is, book a trip to the USA to do a cross-country tour. Pival hopes to find out the truth about her son, Rahi who was banished from her home after her husband Ram, found out he was gay.
Pival books her cross-country tour through a to ...more
Pival is asking: Who am I when I am without the context of my family and my home?
Rachel is asking: Who am I if I am not what I have always dreamed of b ...more
A few things kept this book from being better rated for me, the primary being that I kept wishing the author would go a bit deeper. I felt like the wor ...more
It shifts perspectives, but in such a way that I was never disappointed one chapter was ending and another was beginning because I was deeply invested in every single story.
Each character was so well-developed and lovable and flawed. I'm always a sucker for novels that explore America geographically and emotionally.
It's a feel-good novel, but it hits ...more
A widow travels to America to find closure after her husband dies. She comes to America to find her son who died months before. She hires a tour guide and a companion to buy time as a ruse.
It is more than a journey as it weaves the interactions of different cultures and even what we perceive as the same cultures has their own biases and beliefs
My heart, ya'll. I loved this tender, beautiful book so much. America for B ...more
Three misfits set out on a journey across America, a journey of evolution, and are changed forever.
Pival Sengupta, a newly widowed Indian woman, has booked a trip to America. Her servants are outraged! A woman just does not do this alone. But Pival is not going to see the sights of America. Instead, she is hoping to find her son whom her husband has told her is dead. After moving to America, Rahi revea ...more
I was lucky: nothing got in the way of my reading this book yesterday. I'd begun it about three times at bedtime, and knew that was not going to do the trick. So at about 10am I started again, was hooked pretty quickly, and Just Kept Going.
There are three and a half main characters: recently widowed Pival; not-too-successful actress Rebecca; rags-to-second hand Satya the Bagladeshi tourist guide (to the USA); and the half-major cha ...more
After his death she decides to travel to America not letting anyone know that the real intent is to trace her son Rahi who was estranged from her after an argument.
During her tour we meet other characters like Satya, Rebecca, Ronnie and Jack who all have their distinct stories and challenges.
The story is an intriguing combination of self ...more
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