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Elle – December 1, 2008
"This coming-of-age tale is both powerful and painful to read; however, the
rich prose and beautiful descriptions make it a pleasure to do so... This
charming memoir of Indian childhood gives us a glimpse into the early
memories of a well-regarded author."
Kirkus – October 1, 2008
Thrity Umrigar paints a stunningly detailed portrait of her multifaceted
Bombay milieu. A Parsi minority in a Hindu-majority country, she attended
Catholic school, where Hindi was taught as a foreign language. … In
animated, anguished prose, the author depicts her mother as an unstable,
angry and violent woman "with a tongue that can sting as hard as the cane
she uses on me." ...Umrigar found refuge in the kindness of her live-in
spinster aunt, Mehroo, whose limited status as an unmarried woman is
implicitly evoked. ...Eventually she decided to give up her family moniker
of "First Darling in the Morning" and immigrate to America, noting that the
desire to resettle was driven mainly by frustration and yearning.
Booklist – Starred Review – September 1, 2008
"A melancholy mood suffuses Indian author Umrigar’s eloquent
coming-of-age memoir… bracingly honest and bittersweet..."
-- Allison Block
Publishers Weekly – August 11, 2008
"… Umrigar alternates between sweet and biting accounts of her
middle-class Parsi upbringing in 1960s and 1970s Bombay. With a mixture of
rawness and warmth, she recalls moments from her tumultuous childhood
through her teenage years, and finally into her early 20s when she leaves
India for the U.S… Umrigar's memoir is colorful and moving."