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Review Excerpts

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."

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