Cover Image: Late Bloomers

Late Bloomers

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Member Reviews

This was a delight, perfect for fans of warm-hearted, multi-generational stories. When a thirty-six-year old arranged marriage end, all four family members—two parents and two adult children—are left to deal with the fallout. I so enjoyed watching each character work through their (often wonderfully over-the-top) issues.
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Late Bloomers is the story of an Indian family living in Texas in the mid-2000s and the different life paths the four members have taken. Lata and Suresh are the recently-divorced parents of Priya and Nikesh. Lata and Suresh are learning to navigate their lives without the other for the first time since their arranged marriage over 35 years ago; Priya and Nikesh have established their own lives independent of their parents but have their own unique struggles to overcome.

I thought this was a very good first novel. It established its characters well, had an obviously well-thought-out plot, and stayed interesting throughout. I really enjoyed Lata's character and how determined she was to have her own life without her ex-husband. As a librarian, I was delighted that her first ever job was at a library. Even though there were things she didn't understand (her colleague's fashion sense; jazz music, initially; her son's partner), she was always willing to learn more about them and didn't judge them harshly. I also really liked how the novel explored a complicated subject from the perspective of a minority family.

I would've liked to have more detail about how each character got to the point in their lives where we first meet them and see more of a resolution to each of their  journeys. Why did Priya stay with Ashish for so long? What was the breaking point in Lata and Suresh's marriage? Why was Nikesh so afraid of showing his feelings? It would also have been really interesting to see more of the impact of the divorce on Priya and Nikesh.

Mala telling Lata her big news was a bombshell a la The Room. I understand why it came about when it did, but it landed a bit flat. I was also running out of patience with Suresh towards the end of the novel. Every time it seemed he'd grown a bit as a person, he immediately reverted to the judgemental jerk Lata divorced.
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I've found myself telling everyone about this book with one word: It's just delightful. 

Late Bloomers follows the later-life-love-struggles of the Raman family. Both parents are recently divorced and grappling, quite comedically, with a modern and tricky dating world for those past their 50s. The reader is also given unique perspectives from each of their children. Nikesh, a has-it-all NYC lawyer with a new one year old who is attempting to understand if love or the unit of a family means more. Priya, the single eldest daughter, is observing her siblings as parents while also navigating her affair with a married man. 

It is an interesting and messy set-up that Varadarajan puts the reader into. I found that I'm most appreciative of the honesty with which characters navigate love, attraction and family in a way that seems more true (in both dialogue and plot) than most. The book reads like a classic romantic comedy: uncanny, yet poor timing, lots of miscommunication (that holds true even with the invention of cell phones!), and resolution that leaves you warm and fuzzy. 

Thank you to the folks at Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me and advanced ebook copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for an advanced copy of Late Bloomers in exchange for a review!

This was so heartwarming!

I loved this twist on perspective and how warm and light it was- there were moments where I chuckled out loud and moments I found very heartwarming. This story isn't one I could've ever imagined but certainly something I deeply enjoyed reading - and an extremely strong debut for the author. You seldom see stories about navigating divorce told from the perspective of non-white families, and I loved seeing it here in a lighthearted and fun way. 3.5 stars!
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Insightful, sad, charming--this novel tells the story of the love of a family interrupted.  After a 36-year marriage, Suresh and Lata Raman have just gotten divorced and neither of their grown children are particularly happy about the disruption.  Or their parents' choices on their new--separate--paths.  We see love in its many flavors and with its many flaws as the children and parents learn each others' secrets and how to love each other despite them.  The book opens with a family stuck in old patterns, and each member is unsure how to relate to each other now that those patterns no longer serve them.  Each one is imperfectly human, choosing to love each other anyway.  I found the book to be more sad than charming, but always achingly real, chronicling honestly the human quest for love and belonging through their hopes and regrets.
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“Late Bloomers” is a debut novel by Deepa Varadarajan. This book follows one family - a set of parents (now divorced) and their two children, a son and a daughter. Although things may look okay on the outside, each of them has things they’re keeping hidden from other family members. This book takes place over a few weeks, but it’s amazing how much is packed into those few weeks. This book is about a family, but it’s more than just a family drama - there’s hurt, there’s trying to grow, there’s love, there’s grief, and there’s trying to make sense out of this crazy roller coaster ride we call life. I found a number of the secondary characters interesting to read about, especially Len’s love for jazz and Lata’s lovely in their own way co-workers. I must admit to really liking the tales Suresh had about online dating. This was an enjoyable book that felt a little over-the-top but also crazily believable in many ways - or at least based upon some of the stories some of my Indians friends have told me. I look forward to reading another book by Ms. Varadarajan.
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3.5/5 

Another reviewer said it best, this book has strong Crazy, Stupid, Love vibes. Everyone’s going through it in this Indian-American family and miscommunication and antics ensue. Each chapter rotates between the four family members’ point of view - the recently divorced parents, Suresh and Lata, and their adult children, Nikesh and Priya. Overall, this comedy-drama is a heartwarming, light read that made me chuckle several times. As a child of divorce there were definitely some moments that resonated, but I think everyone will relate to this family in some way! 

Thanks to Random House Publishing Group and Netgalley for this advanced copy.
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This is a fascinating book; equal parts funny, heartbreaking, and infuriating.  I found myself instantly sucked into the story of Suresh, Lata, and their adult children. The author used different POVs in each chapter to give insight into each family member's thoughts and motivations while moving the story along at a good pace.  The shifting perspective helped me understand the main characters, even though I really didn't like any of them besides Lata for the vast majority of the book. By the end, though. I was rooting for all of the flawed and fractured family members.
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Late Bloomers is an honest, raw and charming example of how complicated families can be.  The Raman family finds themselves at various crossroads in their individual lives while they remain intertwined with one another in a way that only nuclear families can.  Told in alternating storylines between the recently divorced couple Suresh and Lata and their grown children Priya and Nikesh, Late Bloomers packs in a multitude of complex realities and topics.  From marriage to divorce, love and infidelity, career ambitions and children there is something for everyone.  I struggled at times to say that I enjoyed Late Bloomers, as the story is messy and honest, but it’s one when I finished I was glad I pushed through.  Late Bloomers is an accurate portal of how grief influences us all and a truthful story of how hearts can long for different versions of love.  

A sincere thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The whole book is about a family who never talks to each other because they aren't really honest with themselves either. It was fine. I didn't really want to spend any time with any of them, but I was rooting for them. If the ending had been just slightly less manic, I would have liked this more.
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Deepa Varadarajan’s début novel, Late Bloomers (@penguinusa, out in May) follows the ups and (many) downs of the Raman family, first- and second-generation Indian-Americans whose lives are upended when Lata and Suresh, the sixty-ish year-old parents, divorce: a decision that forces all four family members (Lata, Suresh, and their two adult children) to confront their own questionable life choices. Internet dating at sixty. Flawed parenting. An affair with a married man. Being in love with an ex-partner. How to be honest with themselves and their loved ones — all of these are challenges with which the main characters must grapple. They are all flawed and endearing in their own ways, which makes them deeply relatable. It’s the kind of novel that will stick with readers long after they’ve finished reading.
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“Late Bloomers” is a novel about a dysfunctional Indian American family. Suresh and Lala recently ended their traditional, arranged marriage of 30+ years, while their adult son and daughter struggle with their own relationships. The story is told from the point of view of all 4 characters. They are all keeping secrets. Initially, I had no sympathy for any of the characters except Lala. But as the story progresses and we see the motivation behind bad behavior and growth in the characters I came to root for them all. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book.
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This was an interesting family story! It's told through several perspectives of this Indian American family: the parents, newly divorced and entering the dating world, and their two adult children who have their own relationship issues. The characters are a bit quirky, and the story itself sometimes is a little silly, but it's definitely a fun read, and I'll read more from this author!
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Late Bloomers is a book focused on an American Indian family, where parents, Suresh and Lata have recently divorced after 30+ years of marriage. Both parents struggle with their “singledom”, Suresh striking out with online dating and Lata’s world upturned when she is asked out on a date by a professor at her job. Also, both adult children, unbeknownst to the parents, are struggling with their own personal lives. Oldest daughter, 35 year old Priya, is in a relationship with a married man that she is in love with, but deep down knows he may not ever leave his wife for her and her opportunities for a family are slipping away. And younger brother Nikesh, seemingly has the perfect life as a high powered attorney in New York, “supposedly” married, and with a one-year-old son is also struggling silently with his relationship. 

I really enjoyed how this book was presented, with each chapter being the POV of each character. The reader was able to become really invested in each character. The book was overall very entertaining and relatable.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read an advanced eCopy.
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First of all, makes me insanely happy to read work by a South Indian (Tamilian) author and see so many aspects of the South Indian experience represented.

This is the story of Lata and Suresh, a couple who were in an arranged married for 36 years and decided to get divorced. We get many funny moments as we follow Suresh and Lata trying to date again, and many heartbreaking ones as we learn about the guilts and regrets that come with emigrating to the US and leaving your life behind in India.

We also get the POVs of their adult children, Priya and Nikesh, who have successful careers but are navigating chaotic love lives.

This manages to be both silly and poignant as it touches on complicated parent-child dynamics and marital issues. It also reminds its South Asian readers, like me, to empathize with their parents' perspectives a little more :)
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This is a lovely book about family dynamics, adults realizing their parents have their own lives , hopes, and desires, and vice versa. A fast read, alternating between each of the four main characters, each distinct and with their own struggles and issues. I enjoyed this book very much!
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A book about complicated South Asian family life and dynamics? Sign me up! While I had some grievances with the narration being first person, overall I really enjoyed this. Suresh, Lata, Priya, and Nikesh are perfectly imperfect, and remind me that no one's really got it all figured out, and that we're all just trying our best. These characters and their decisions had me feeling frustrated at times, and in some cases infuriated. But by the end, I found them to be endearing nonetheless. I appreciate that Varadarajan was willing to go to some pretty ugly and disdainful places as far as their thoughts and feelings went; and as a South Asian person, I appreciated the various themes of family, love, forgiveness, and societal pressures that this story addresses. I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys character-drive stories and reading about the South Asian experience.
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Charming and sweet, this book caught me by surprise. Modern family drama that is at once singular and universal. I can't wait to read more from Deepa Varadarajan!
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A mostly sweet, peppy family drama book! Perfect for vacation or winter break for a little escape. This is a family that has big feelings and it's nice to lose yourself in that for a few hours. We had divorces, cheating, arranged marriages, and pretty much any other relationship drama you can think of. I felt like the alternating narrators had distinct voices, no small task in such a close-knit story!
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What a lovely tale of love later in life. I think this would be a great book club book for all ages. It would be a good discussion on finding love at various stages in life and how it's approached with maturity. Solid book!
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