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What a Happy Family by Saumya Dave []



Saumya Dave follows up her debut (Well-Behaved Indian Women, 2020) with this story about another Indian-American family. The narrative is told from varying points of view: Bina and Deepak Joshi, who immigrated to the United States to give their children opportunities they never had; eldest daughter Suhani, following in her father’s footsteps as a psychiatrist; her white husband Zack; middle daughter Natasha, who turns down a proposal from the son of lifelong family friends to pursue a career in comedy; and son Anuj, their youngest child. Natasha’s rejection of her boyfriend’s proposal, shortly after she loses her job, begins a series of events that affect the family, their connections to their community, and their ability to support each other. Dave examines happiness itself from several angles, revealing different aspects for members of the family related to their individual mental health and interpersonal dynamics. Equal parts family drama, women’s fiction, and coming-of-age story, each family member is challenged and finds their way through with the strength of their relationships intact, if changed by experience. A sure bet for vacation reading and fans of hopeful family dramas.

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