by Deepa Varadarajan
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Pub Date 02 May 2023 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2023
Random House Publishing Group - Random House, Random House Trade Paperbacks
“Touching . . . both funny and moving—a family drama the entire family can enjoy.”—Reader’s Digest
A REAL SIMPLE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
"I have a soft spot for underdogs. And late bloomers. You’ve told me a lot of things about yourself, so let me tell you something about me."
After thirty-six years of a dutiful but unhappy arranged marriage, recently divorced Suresh and Lata Raman find themselves starting new paths in life. Suresh is trying to navigate the world of online dating on a website that caters to Indians and is striking out at every turn—until he meets a mysterious, devastatingly attractive younger woman who seems to be smitten with him. Lata is enjoying her newfound independence, but she's caught off guard when a professor in his early sixties starts to flirt with her.
Meanwhile, Suresh and Lata's daughter, Priya, thinks her father's online pursuits are distasteful even as she embarks upon a clandestine affair of her own. And their son, Nikesh, pretends at a seemingly perfect marriage with his law-firm colleague and their young son, but hides the truth of what his relationship really entails. Over the course of three weeks in August, the whole family will uncover one another's secrets, confront the limits of love and loyalty, and explore life's second chances.
Charming, funny, and moving, Late Bloomers introduces a delightful new voice in fiction with the story of four individuals trying to understand how to be happy in their own lives—and as a family.
“Readers looking for new fictional friends to cherish will be smitten with the Ramans from page one. Each of first-time novelist Varadarajan's characters has their own journey and personal growth, and the family interactions acknowledge past decisions that still resonate. Details about the couple’s arranged marriage, favorite foods, and celebrations add even greater depth to these engaging characters, while a lively sense of humor guides them through challenges and joys.”—Booklist
"Varadarajan debuts with an endearing exploration of an Indian American family’s search for new beginnings . . . Striking narration from each of the family members and believable character development add to Varadarajan’s bold challenge to traditional South Asian conventions for a stringent life plan. These strong voices leave an indelible mark."
“Varadarajan has written her characters with intelligence and compassion, imbuing them with complexity; each narrative mirrors, refracts, refutes, and informs the others in what’s ultimately a tender exploration of family patterns, choices, regrets, and the possibility for change… Warm, hopeful, often charming. The Ramans are an idiosyncratic oasis in the world of literary unhappy families.”
“Late Bloomers follows the lives of a South Indian-American family as they deal with love in all its permutations: marital, romantic, familial, lost, and unrequited. Deepa Varadarajan deftly weaves modern-day problems like internet dating and complicated living arrangements with the eternal yearning for acceptance and the ageless desire to live up to family expectations. Secrets, relationships, and food; there truly is nothing more you could ask for in a novel.”—Katherine Heiny, author of Early Morning Riser and Games and Rituals
"Deepa Varadarajan’s debut novel is funny, heartbreaking, engrossing, surprising, smart. Late Bloomers tells the story of the Raman family, beginning after the children have grown up. I never knew what would happen next and I absolutely loved that about this beautiful book.”—Marcy Dermansky, author of Hurricane Girl and Very Nice
“A stirring, tender novel about the bonds and binds between families and strangers. By reversing roles in the immigrant tug of war, here parents are online dating and the children looking to 'settle down', Varadarajan poignantly delivers a page turner in which both the young and the not so young have to reconfigure expectations and forge new pathways in order to find fulfillment. Late Bloomers asks what it means to be a family—a happy family—in a rapidly changing world and offers promising answers. You'll laugh and cry through this deft tale about personal growth, family entanglements and reignited dreams.”—Soniah Kamal, author of Unmarriageable
"Late Bloomers is about love won and lost and rearranged and rediscovered; it is about how love and family can be made and remade; it is about the marvelous fluidity of love. Varadarajan writes about the everyday life of the Raman family with so much humor and affection that she makes the ordinary feel extraordinary. I adore this family and I adore this book.”—Whitney Otto, author of How to Make an American Quilt
"Equal parts funny and heartbreaking, Late Bloomers is a charming story about starting over, stumbling, and finding yourself at any age. I found myself rooting for Varadarajan’s characters as they navigated love, loneliness, and the complicated family relationships that define them." —Jennifer Close, author of Marrying the Ketchups