Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse. 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–award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

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My rating:


Hi, everyone! I bet you weren’t expecting another review from me so soon! Well, this review is on Mitali Perkins’ most recent novel, You Bring the Distant Near. It’s an intergenerational story (three generations, one story), dealing with a family’s ties and troubles. Fun fact: this is actually the first book I read that has multiple perspectives from multiple generations. I didn’t know what to expect from it, so I was pretty happy that it turned to be a good read!

So many characters in this one novel! But I really loved the middle generation, with Sonia and Tara’s perspectives! I feel as if I saw and understood them the most and really missed their POVs later on in the novel. They’re both so different, but interesting in their own way. And they always stuck by each other and supported each other as well! I really missed their camaraderie later on in the book, when it focuses on their daughters. I also liked the little bits I got to read from their mother’s perspective. You got to see her point of view and reasoning, especially when it came to relationship with her husband and daughters. As for Sonia and Tara’s daughters, while I thought their POVs were just fine, I wished for more Sonia and Tara, or even just more Sonia interjecting into Shanti and Anna’s POVs, since she was present, just not as vocal.

Also, can you believe I read this book in one sitting? Well, I did! I couldn’t bare to put it down and did most of my tasks with one eye on a page. 😀 I was just really invested in these characters and where they would end up! This story did not lack in terms of plot, which is kind of surprising to me, since I thought that an intergenerational story would deal more with character development and whatnot. But The Distant You Bring Near definitely had a good mix of both!

Well, that’s all I have to say on You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins! I’m pretty glad that I got to read that intergenerational story and cannot wait for the future ones I’ll probably read because of it! If you have any comments or questions regarding this book, feel free to share them in the section below. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

I received an advance reader’s copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.