Cover Image: Late Bloomers

Late Bloomers

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Member Reviews

I had to request this the moment I saw the Indian name on the cover! When it came to actually reading, though, I was not sure of what to expect. So right now, I have mixed feelings towards the book that I am yet to process.

The story is that of an Indian family residing in the US. The parents are recently divorced and are trying to figure out their new life in their sixties, while their children cope with middle age. Varadaranjan has well encapsulated all the thoughts and emotions of the characters in their respective POVs.

While this isn't the light, breezy rom-com that is my comfort zone, it is very beautiful in its own way. The author breaks the boundaries set for conventional novels and explores the world of retired expats. Divorces are looked down upon in India because they reflect lack of adjustment and a stamp of failure. Expecting anew romantic life after this is unthinkable. The author portrayed all of this with great care in the story.

Read this for a refreshing take to second chances and some great food for thought.
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Overall this is a joyful read.  While there is lots of humor, there are also deep life issues of who we are in the world vs who we are in the eyes of our families.  There is a focus on family dynamics (some pretty dysfunctional), but also an exploration of ourselves that we don't often share with others...the voice in our heads about ourselves.  Not all characters are very likeable, but I at least felt like I understood them in the end.  Thank you NetGalley and publishers for providing a digital ARC for review.
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This is a heartfelt and humorous novel about the Indian-American Raman family, whose parents go through a divorce after thirty-six years of marriage. The resulting events depict a realistic flawed family as they maneuver through changes. 

The story was entertaining and emotional, and I recommend it for fans of family dramas.
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Late Bloomers by Deepa Varadarajan is the story of an Indian family turned topsy-turvy by the divorce of Suresh and Lata after thirty-six years into an arranged marriage. The book is relatable as the problems they are going through are ones many people of all ages and cultures experience. The underlying feeling throughout the book is love, sometimes misguided or not expressed in the best way, but love is most-definitely there within the family. Something else this book illustrates beautifully is that things are not always as they seem, people can and do put on facades that don't necessarily reflect what is going on with them on the inside.
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I slept on this book and read it a little late, but oh my gosh I can't believe I waited! Such a good and poignant book that had me hooked from the first page. The book made me love the characters at points and hate them in others, but overall I grew to enjoy them, warts and all. 

I enjoyed the cultural nuance, the characters balancing the current world they lived in vs their cultural expectations. I liked watching them all start over and weave together. Would definitely recommend.
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Told from the perspective of each member of the Raman family, we get the story of Lata and Suresh's separation along with the love woes of their children. It's an interesting take on late bloomers and how they all find or end up out of love despite what society's constructs expect from each of them.
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Equally funny and heartfelt, this was a moving family drama that follows four different members of a South Asian American family as they try to find love and start over after divorce and failed relationships. I enjoyed the multiple POVs in this intergenerational story and that the full cast audio narration was excellent. Definitely one I'd recommend! Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
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A family of regular people, with regular issues, float apart and back together in this family saga. This snapshot of life, told with wit and humor, lends a sense of normalcy to life, even when you think there’s nothing normal about it. The writing is well done and the plot well developed. I enjoyed this one!
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Late Bloomers is a story about a family, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and relatable. Suresh and Lata had an arranged marriage in India, emigrated to the U.S. and raised their two children Priya and Nikesh. The book is told from the 4 of their perspectives. In their 50s, Lata and Suresh divorce and in this novel, both of them are the "late bloomers" looking to move on with their lives, while their adult children are struggling with their own relationships. The story starts with Suresh, perplexed by Internet dating and the women who tell lies about themselves, while he himself is lying. Others become entangled in the family members' lives, culminating in a chaotic one year old birthday party. This is an entertaining and relatable read.
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I struggled to finish this one. The characters were flat for me. Lata being the only one I felt something for. The story felt overly purposeful in keeping the reader at arm’s length. Same as the relationships within the family.
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This is an enjoyable and easily digestable family saga perfect for summer reading! A strong and promising debut.
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Suresh and Lata have recently divorced after 35+ years of marriage. In his loneliness, Suresh begins dating online. Lata is more interested in her freedom and her job at the library. Their adult daughter Priya has struggles of her own in the dating world. And their perfect son, Nikesh, has a good job, is married and has a baby too.

But all is not well as Priya and Nikesh are hiding secrets of their own, Suresh has himself mixed up in a dating situation that has unintended consequences and Lata finds herself in her own bubble of new adventures. An ultimatum by Nikesh’s partner leads to an avalanche of events that show this family of late bloomers that it is never too late to be true to yourself and live the life you deserve. 

This was a slightly comical novel (with relatable undertones) and deeply flawed characters that weren’t likeable.  I had a hard time rooting for any of them. The story was a good concept and I always enjoy reading novels about South Asians and their experiences.

Thank you to @netgalley @randomhouse for this gifted advance readers copy. This book hit the shelves on 5/2/23 and is available now.
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If you love family drama, this one is for you! And you will really go through all the range of emotions as we watch them navigate divorce and family dynamics in general. I think what I appreciated the most was how real the characters felt, like I felt like they could be my neighbors I'm hearing all of the drama about. While the lack of communication did get to me at times, I think it made sense for who they were. Pick up Late Bloomers for the perfect summer dramedy!
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This is a funny and heartwarming family drama about an Indian-American alternating between four POVs - those of the recently divorced parents who are adjusting to being single after 30+ years in an arranged marriage and their two adult children who are managing dysfunctional relationships of their own.  I found myself laughing out loud a few times (Suresh, the father's, attempt at online dating is hysterical) and there were some emotional moments as well, and I really enjoyed the look into the characters' experience as South Indian immigrants to the US.

3.5 stars rounded up

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the copy to review.
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A newly-divorced couple try to navigate dating and other life challenges after decades of marriage. Their adult children alternate between wringing their hands over their parents’ missteps and their own hardships. Debut author Deepa Varadarajan gives readers a small taste of life as a member of an Indian American family with a narrative that, at times, can’t decide who it’s target audience is in her first book Late Bloomers.

After more than 35 years of marriage, to the total shock of their friends and the utter dismay of their children, Lata and Suresh Raman have gotten a divorce. For Lata, the decision is a relief. She no longer has to tolerate her husband’s belittlement and his complete disregard of her as an equal partner. Wanting to be completely free from anything that was a part of her former married life, Lata lets Suresh stay in their home while she moves to a condo not far away in their small Texas town.

Lata gets a job at the local library and finds herself getting along with her new coworkers extremely well, particularly twenty-something Deanna. The young woman needs quite a bit of mothering, which Lata is more than happy to do now that her own children are out of the house.

Three hours away in Austin, Lata and Suresh’s older child, Priya, is wavering about her own love life. Her parents don’t know she’s having an affair with a married man who swears he cares about her and can’t live without her but who also, apparently, can’t live without his wife. Every time Priya presses him to leave his marriage, he answers, “It’s complicated.” 

How complicated can it be, Priya wonders. Her parents didn’t have any trouble splitting up, and now her dad is even trying to meet women online. Priya finds her father’s latest attempts at companionship embarrassing and tells him so.

Her younger brother, Nikesh, is more easy-going on their father. Maybe it’s because Nikesh knows firsthand how hard it is to maintain a relationship. He and his boss definitely didn’t plan to get pregnant, but when she came to him and said she was going to raise the child with or without him Nikesh knew he wanted to be a part of his child’s life. The three live together in New York City, a seemingly perfect family on the outside while Nikesh knows the truth on the inside. His parents think he and his girlfriend are married. With both his parents trying to find their way again, Nikesh doesn’t think now is the best time to tell the truth.

These days Suresh feels out his depth with relationships. Every woman he’s met on the dating websites has lied about something. The white lies he doesn’t mind; it’s the whoppers he can’t fathom. Why bother telling blatant untruths about one’s self when all of those things will immediately come to light when they meet? Before the end of his marriage, Suresh felt like he didn’t understand his own wife. It seems more and more, though, that he’s having trouble understanding women in general.

With the first birthday of Nikesh’s son coming up, the members of the Raman family will have to figure out a way to get past their personal hangups and hide their secrets even better. The family ecosystem was shaken once with Suresh and Lata’s divorce. Another disaster might cause everything to come crashing down on top of them.

Author Deepa Varadarajan does an adequate job of representing the Indian-American family, although at times her representation feels somewhat generic. Non-Indian readers may be satisfied with the occasional mention of an Indian dish or an exhortation in a different language. Indian-American readers, however, might come away disappointed that the fact that the Raman family is South Indian feels almost incidental. The Ramans, in fact, could be any Indian family and the story would still, more or less, progress the same. The narrative isn’t sure which way to pivot, at times trying to cater to one audience or the other.

Also, while the four characters think of one another frequently, the alternating chapters in their points of view isolate them from one another. At times the book almost functions like a collection of novellas rather than a single cohesive book. The biggest weakness of the novel, however, is the dialogue. Filled with information dumps, the dialogue sometimes sounds more like something from a cheesy made-for-television movie rather than actual heartfelt conversations between people on difficult subjects.

Those unfamiliar with broad Indian culture and customs might want to check this one out.
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Writing style was strong but I don’t think this book was for me. The characters were all so unlikeable, which I’m sure was by design! The book could’ve been shorter. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Families are messy, especially this one. The parents divorced and the kids are keeping secrets from each other.
When they all collide at Lata’s apartment, it was like a scene out of a sitcom.
I felt the most empathy for Suresh, he seemed quite lost and lonely as well as pretty desperate.
Lata seemed annoyed for most of the book.
Priya made a big hole for herself and I had my doubts about Kinesh’s future with Denise.
There are heartwarming moments and amusing parts.
The ending left me in limbo without resolving how does it all end up?
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This was a story about a modern Indian family in Texas steeped in Indian tradition. The parents are in their 60’s and divorce after 36 years, while the adult children navigate adulthood, relationships, and life. The pov’s rotate between each of the four family members. Hilarity ensues as the parents attempt dating. 

I enjoyed this portrait of a dysfunctional family. It had its funny moments and it had heart. I didn’t find myself connecting to the characters much and didn’t feel sympathy for them. I would’ve liked to see things more wrapped up at the end, though, it ended a bit abruptly.
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After over 30 years of an arranged marriage, Suresh and Lata decide to get divorced. Suresh feels abandoned. Lata feels like they just grew further and further apart as the years went on. Both decide to navigate the American dating scene, while still keeping their Indian culture in mind. Meanwhile, their children are experiencing troubles in the dating scene. Priya is having an affair with a married man. While Nikesh is pretending to be married to the mother of his child.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Deepa Varadarajan does an excellent job of developing the characters through alternating POVs throughout the book. The alternating POVs allow the reader to understand each family member’s perspective and reasoning for their actions throughout the story. My favorite character was Lata because she seemed like a real person anyone would know. Her reflections on her life seemed genuine as she decided what kind of life she wanted for herself. This was a very enjoyable read, the perfect combination of humorous and emotional. I recommend it to anyone that likes realistic fiction. 4/5 stars.
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Welcome to the newest author of what I consider beach read books: entertaining but doesn’t work the brain too hard. I enjoyed the characters, mostly. The plot was thin but that’s a beach read for ya. Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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