Mother Land: A Novel (Paperback)
From the critically acclaimed author of America for Beginners, a wonderfully insightful, witty, and heart-piercing novel, set in Mumbai, about an impulsive American woman, her headstrong Indian mother-in-law, and the unexpected twists and turns of life that bond them.
“Lively and evocative, Mother Land is a deftly crafted exploration of identity and culture, with memorable and deeply human characters who highlight how that which makes us different can ultimately unite us.”—Amy Myerson, author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays and The Imperfects
When Rachel Meyer, a thirtysomething foodie from New York, agrees to move to Mumbai with her Indian-born husband, Dhruv, she knows some culture shock is inevitable. Blessed with a curious mind and an independent spirit, Rachel is determined to learn her way around the hot, noisy, seemingly infinite metropolis she now calls home.
But the ex-pat American’s sense of adventure is sorely tested when her mother-in-law, Swati, suddenly arrives from Kolkata—a thousand miles away—alone, with an even more shocking announcement: she’s left her husband of more than forty years and is moving in with them. Nothing the newlyweds say can budge the steadfast Swati, and as the days pass, it becomes clear she is here to stay—an uneasy situation that becomes more difficult when Dhruv is called away on business.
Suddenly these two strong-willed women from such very different backgrounds are alone together in a home that each is determined to run in her own way—a situation that ultimately brings into question the very things in their lives that had seemed perfect and permanent . . . with results neither of them expect.
Heartfelt, charming, deeply insightful and wise, Mother Land introduces us to two complex women from very different cultures . . . who maybe have more in common than they realize.
About the Author
Leah Franqui is a graduate of Yale University and received an MFA at NYU-Tisch. She is a playwright and the recipient of the 2013 Goldberg Playwriting Award, and also wrote a web series for which she received the Alfred Sloan Foundation Screenwriting award (aftereverafterwebseries.com). A Puerto Rican-Jewish Philadelphia native, Franqui lives with her Kolkata-born husband in Mumbai. AMERICA FOR BEGINNERS is her first novel.
"Franqui has written a beautiful novel featuring nuanced characters struggling to find their way through the landmines of the inevitable culture clashes with surprising, didn’t-see-that-coming moments that carry through to the last page."
— Library Journal
“Engaging... [Rachel and Swati’s] credible learning from each other make this a worthy tale of bridging a cultural divide.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Unexpected...funny and relatable...[A] tender tale of two women who are lost and alone, but who eventually become allies and each other’s biggest champions.”
— BookPage (starred review)
“Mother Land is as much a treatise on what it means to belong to oneself as it is a story of two women from opposing cultures.... [The] women discover they are not so different and learn from one another a secret to happiness that surprises them both.”
— San Francisco Book Review
“Mother Land is a pleasant story of self-discovery and friendship with plenty of twists and intrigue to keep the reader engaged.”
— Washington Independent Review of Books