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Recommended Fiction: The Abundance by Amit Majmudar

by Pamela Tarajcak on 2023-03-24T13:38:40-04:00 in Library Circulation, Literary Criticisms and Reviews, Literature | 0 Comments

“They arrive after midnight on the twenty-third. Mala had called from Indianapolis at around 10 PM and said they were having dinner at a Denny’s.  I told her I would put everything in the refrigerator, it wasn’t a problem.  She said she was sorry, but they had left home later than they wanted, it hadn’t been in her control, the snow had been heavy since they crossed into Indiana.  The weather was clear where we were, I told her. She said yes, but it was snowing where they were, and she really had tried to get home in time.”  (3) 

Cover ArtThe Abundance by Amit Majmudar
Call Number: 813.6 M35 2014 (Youngstown)
ISBN: 9781250045096
Publication Date: 2014-04-08
Pgs. 255

Mala and her brother Ronak hurry back home to Ohio for Christmas when learning that their mother only has a brief time left on earth.  While their mother, the first person narrator, cares internally and worries about dying, she puts on a mask of indifference as she falls back into the patterns of cooking and caring for her two children.  Mala hovers over her and tries to learn how to reproduce the family recipes before it is too late.  But Ronak is at first too concerned about his own life to really worry about his mother, until he gets inspired to write a memoir of his mother and her cooking.  Throughout the final year of the mother’s life, from Christmas to just prior to Thanksgiving, we see the family reconnecting in poignant ways that they had never done before.  The generational divide falls and real bonding occurs.   

This book was beautiful in its simplicity.  It was refreshing to read an immigrant book that is filled with joy and not tragedy.  Though the mother is dying, there is a tone of release and completion instead of mourning. The characters are finely written and the pacing is delightful.   

I recommend this one for anyone who wants a refreshing read that is both poignant and beautiful.  

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