No Other World

Rahul Mehta (Quarantine) crafts a lovely story about personal discovery and family ties in his debut novel, No Other World. In the suburbs of western New York, 12-year-old Kiran Shah is causing concern for the neighbors. He's been watching the Bells' house from across the street, transfixed by his schoolmate's father, Chris. But Kiran's parents, immigrants from India, have enough on their minds: Nishit is a successful doctor but feels responsible for his widowed brother back in India, and Shanti is growing dissatisfied with her arranged marriage. Meanwhile, their daughter, Preeti, has become involved with a rough young man from school.

Hindsight is 20-20 for the Shah family as Mehta leads readers back and forth across a decade that leaves Kiran--and those who love him--utterly transformed. While it takes time for him to understand his attraction to men, it requires grace and patience for his family to come to terms with the fact. And the compassion Kiran needs from his sister as an adult may be the very comfort he neglected to give her when she was a teen with a dangerous boyfriend.

Like Tom Perrotta, Mehta digs into suburban angst and household secrets with insight and humor. Cultures, generations, religions and genders clash as the Shahs face tensions that have built up over the years. For Kiran, this means traveling to his parents' home country, where he finds a kindred spirit in a beautiful young outcast. A family saga for the 21st century, No Other World journeys into daunting horizons to discover the familiar. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Powered by: Xtenit