Monday, December 4, 2023

A Great Country

The sun is shining, the sky a brilliant blue. Just another beautiful day in Southern California. The Shah family has been working their fingers to the bone to build a business, buy a home and provide the very best American life for their three children. Finally “making it” all the way to Pacific Hills, an upscale gated community near the ocean. One Saturday evening while attending a lovely dinner, the Shahs receive a confusing call that their youngest son Ajay (12 years old) is being held at the Orange County jail. Terrified, they race there as quickly as possible to find he is not the victim but is under arrest. Tall for his age, with no I.D. (why would a 12 year old have ID?) and on the spectrum, Ajay struggled to explain to the police why he was near the airport with a backpack of electronics. Roughing him up because he “resisted” arrest the frantic parents find Ajay bruised and battered, frightened and mute. In order to defend their actions the officers push forward with charges and the Shah family is set on an unimaginable rollercoaster that tips the scales of everything they ever believed about the American dream. Supported by a few good friends the Shah’s navigate the complicated procedures their child faces and deep racism they had long held themselves apart from. Friends, family, traditions and trust. This book dives deep beneath the surface forcing the reader to empathize with issues our country battles with every day. Since reading The Namesake (twenty years ago!) I have been enthralled by immigrant family themes, especially from India. The challenges of holding on to treasured cultural values while trying to assimilate and succeed in their new home is an emotional journey. Absolutely must put this one on your reading list in March 2024! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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