November 14, 2022 7:53 AM EST

Showing up for your community, your family, and your loved ones is not always easy. It can actually be quite terrifying if you aren’t fully comfortable with yourself. Sneha—a young Indian immigrant who arrived in the U.S. with her parents as a teenager but is now alone after her father’s deportation—is a new college graduate working an entry level job that, demoralizing as it is, keeps her paid and allows her to stay in the country. Through beautiful, spare prose, Sarah Thankam Mathews deftly captures the pain and pleasure of being a young adult in a recession-rocked 21st century. Senha recounts her early 20s with unflinching honesty—the friendships built over cold, grueling months in Milwaukee, tentative dates and an eventual relationship with a woman named Marina, and the struggle of coming into your own when you haven’t reconciled your past. Sneha is tough and at times cutting, but ultimately wants to love and be loved. All This Could Be Different—which is a finalist for a National Book Award—charts her journey toward such a life. —Mahita Gajanan

Buy Now: All This Could Be Different on Bookshop | Amazon

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