The Invitation

W. W. Norton & Company  2012

When Vikram invites three of his college friends to his son’s graduation from MIT, they accept out of obligation and curiosity, viewing the party as a twenty-fifth reunion of sorts. Village genius Vikram, now the founder of a lucrative computer company, is having the party against his son’s wishes. Frances and Jay regret accepting: Frances, a real estate agent, hasn't sold a house in a year; Jay’s middle management job isn't brag worthy; and their daughter is failing the eleventh grade. Lali plans to hide the fact that her once-happy marriage is crumbling because her American husband is discovering his Jewish roots. Each had left UCLA expecting to be successful and have even more successful children. At Vikram’s Newport Beach mansion, some confront their problems, while others find a solution. Jay and Frances discover even greater issues than poor finances and an academically challenged daughter; Lali learns she might have a Jewish ancestor, while Vikram reluctantly realizes he should not force his dreams on his son. The follow-up to A Good Indian Wife, Anne Cherian’s novel resonates with the poignancy of real life colliding with expectations unmet.

Read Anne Cherian's Posts for the Visiting Scribe

Wandering Mother, Wondering Daughter

Part 1

Part 2 

Part 3

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