Review: Everything Was Good-bye by Gurjinder Basran

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pintail; Reprint edition (December 31, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0143186817
  • Source: Publisher
Meena is the youngest of six daughters raised by a widowed mother. Her family, native of India, continues to hold on to many of their culture’s customs. A young woman in her last year of high-school, Meena struggles to continue to honor tradition while living the life of an American young woman. Her older sisters were restricted by these traditions but Meena refuses to become a victim of the same fate. She must decide what is more important: tradition or following one’s own heart. The choice Meena ultimately makes has lasting, irreversible effects.

Everything Was Good-Bye is, at its very core, a incredibly emotional, brilliant examination of a young woman trying to seek a voice, an identity, while living in two vastly different cultures. Basran excels at building a truly genuine character in Meena that is both challenging and sympathetic. She so masterfully details the struggles Meena experiences in her strict, traditional Indian home, struggles that many of us outside the culture cannot comprehend. The reader follows Meena as she matures from a young high school girl to a more mature, more independent adult. The growth she experiences is tremendous, solely made possible by her hard-headed desire to live beyond the life planned out for her by her mother. What Meena experiences at each stage of her growth is certainly not easy, for she is forced to overcome more challenges in the span of a few years that many don’t face in an entire lifetime.

Though this novel is brief in pages, the content within is vast, an epic story told in a condensed manner. My challenge as a reviewer is that I want to give much more detail about the storyline, but doing so may spoil the experience for readers. Though this review is brief it is certainly not due to my lack of feelings and response to this novel. My only qualm with this novel was the ending; I wanted to know more about Meena and her future. To me, the ending seemed a little rushed, abrupt, when I wanted more detail. Nevertheless, this title destined to make an appearance in book clubs for Basran’s debut novel will have a lasting effect on its readers. Highly, highly recommended.

2 Comments to "Review: Everything Was Good-bye by Gurjinder Basran"

  1. Rosanne's Gravatar Rosanne
    January 31, 2013 - 9:46 PM | Permalink

    My apologies to you, but I must correct two grammar faults that jumped out at me when I read your review:
    Your sentence read, “What Meena experiences at each stage of her growth is certainly not easy, for she is forced to overcome more challenges in the span of a few years that many don’t face in an entire lifetime.” The last part of the sentence should read: “*THAN* many [delete *DON’T*} face in an entire lifetime.”
    Since you are reviewing literature, it’s important to get it right. :)
    All the best.

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