From National Book Award finalist, Mitali Perkins, comes a dramatic tale about a displaced Indian family in the 1970s.
When Asha's father loses his job and leaves India to look for work in America, Asha Gupta, her older sister, Reet, and their mother must wait with Baba's brother and his family, as well as their grandmother, in Calcutta. Uncle is welcoming, but in a country steeped in tradition, the three women must abide by his decisions. Asha knows this is temporary--just until Baba sends for them.
But with scant savings and time passing, the tension builds: Ma, prone to spells of sadness, finds it hard to submit to her mother- and sister-in-law; Reet's beauty attracts unwanted marriage proposals; and Asha's promise to take care of Ma and Reet leads to impulsive behavior.
Asha's only solace is her rooftop hideaway, where she pours her heart out in her diary, and where she begins a clandestine friendship with Jay Sen, the boy next door--against the rules of the house. Asha can hardly believe that she, and not Reet, is the object of Jay's attention.
But when tragedy strikes, Asha must make a painful choice that will change their lives forever
"Well-developed characters, funny dialogue, and the authentic depiction of spunky Asha's longing for romance and female self-determination, set in a culture that restrains women's choices, make this book an attractive pick."--School Library Journal
An intimate and absorbing drama."--Publisher's Weekly
Heartbreaking and hopeful. --ALA Booklist