When She Comes Back

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2020

Ronit was six years old when her moth­er left her and her four-year-old sis­ter for India to fol­low a guru. Bhag­wan Shree Rajneesh, whose com­mune was respon­si­ble for the largest bio­log­i­cal attack on U.S. soil, preached that chil­dren were hin­drances and encour­aged ster­il­iza­tions among his fol­low­ers. Luck­i­ly Ronit’s father, who’d left the fam­i­ly the pre­vi­ous year, stepped up and brought the girls to live with him first in Newark, New Jer­sey, and lat­er in Flush­ing, Queens. On the sur­face, his nur­tur­ing was the balm Ronit sought, but she soon paid a sec­ond emo­tion­al price, tak­ing on the role of part­ner and con­fi­dant to him, and sub­sti­tute moth­er to her sis­ter. By the end of her child­hood, Ronit would dis­cov­er she had lost her moth­er and the close and trust­ing rela­tion­ship she once had with her father. Though they have now rec­on­ciled, for years she grap­pled with the toll her moth­er’s leav­ing took, mea­sur­ing her self-worth and capac­i­ty for love by that absence.

When She Comes Back is the sto­ry of a fam­i­ly try­ing to find itself, grownups who don’t know how to be adults, and what hap­pens when the per­son your life revolves around can’t stay. It’s also a sto­ry of resilience and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, how rejec­tion by the most impor­tant per­son in Ronit’s life ulti­mate­ly led to an unflag­ging com­mit­ment to, and love for her own children.

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