Someone You Love Is Goneby Published 29 Aug 2017
|Someone You Love Is Gone.pdf|
|Publisher||Penguin Canada Viking|
Grief is a creature of many faces as Simran discovers when her mother, the lynchpin of her family, dies. Faced with the disintegration of her marriage and her estrangement from her own daughter, she struggles to make sense of her world and how things have come to be. With her mother’s death, Simran is haunted by memories and questions for which she has no answers. As the life she has carefully constructed begins to unravel around her, she is forced to confront one of her most painful memories—her parents sending her younger brother away when they were children. As the past comes flooding back, she wonders what could compel her parents to turn their backs on their only son. Was it his strange obsession with collecting poetry on scraps of paper? Or the fact that he talked about having memories that couldn’t possibly be his? Could he be the reincarnation of her long-dead uncle? Even her mother, who had always been very protective of her son, agreed with her husband to send him away; a decision that would have lasting consequences. Now with her mother gone, Simran must face up to these disturbing memories, and perhaps finally put her ghosts to rest.
Someone You Love Is Gone Reviews
Someone You Love is Gone by Gurjinder Basran is a beautiful novel centered around grief.
Picking this book up, after losing my own Father years ago, was kind of like therapy. I was able to see someone else facing the exact thing I had (keep in mind a different gendered parent) and having a similar response to me. Gurjinder Basran does a fantastic job of showing how grief affects a person.
The small losses of temper, without meaning to was a big part of mine and my Mother's grief. Seeing this happen was truly incredible - our main character Simran does not purposely yell at her daughter or her husband, it just happens. The emotions that go through someone when experiencing grief is very expressive in this book - and it shows how talented this author is.
I'd hate to say this book is like a "slice of life" novel, but it is - but a slice of grief and the life that comes after. So many sayings that you don't think about - like how you just get used to grief and it doesn't get better - are displayed in this story. Before someone dies, you say that but don't realize how true those sayings really are. You don't realize how haunting it is to be here and that person who's in your memories and clothes are still in their closets are just not there - they don't exist anymore. This beautiful novel shows all of this, and it almost made me cry thinking about how honest this book is compared to my own grief.
I relate a lot of Sim, and I think this is why the book speaks to me so much.
Overall, this book is truly beautiful. I could go on and spoil everything, but I would rather just state my opinion to finish it off.
This book shows the gradual change in grief - immediately losing a parent, dealing with the emotions after, dealing with relationships during grief, trying to pick what's best and how to grieve, and the finale of finally accepting it.
This book should be read by those experiencing or who have experienced grief to understand. This was far better than any therapist or book I was forced to read during my grief - those self help books are rarely helpful, let's be honest.
Five out of five stars.
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
When a dear friend of mine saw that I was reading this book, she sent me a note , "Sounds depressing. Do you really need to read this book?" I know she was looking out for me since the main character loses her mother and it has been less than a year since my mother died. I went ahead and read it anyway, maybe wanting to feel and share the grief even if it was with a character in a book. While the story is depressing in many ways, I wasn't depressed after reading it. If anything, I felt fortunate because all of memories that have become part of my grieving are good ones focusing on the happy times and remembering what a good woman my mother was. It's not the same for Simran. She is grieving her mother's death and feels isolated from her husband, her daughter and her siblings. As the story develops, it becomes evident that Simran is also grieving over her own life, over the changes in her relationships, over things that happened in the past. So she tries to come to terms with her failing marriage, that the closeness with her daughter seems to have diminished. The biggest thing that she has to cope with after her mother's death, is trying to understand why her parents sent her younger brother away. We come to know through flashbacks that Diwa suffered physical and mental issues and her father just couldn't accept it.
Her journey through grief is complex as the loss of her mother accentuates the other losses she feels, causing her to reflect on the people who are gone from her life in some way. I can't say that I connected with her as deeply as I thought I would. However, there are some poignant moments that touched me, especially when she and her siblings return to India, their mother's birthplace to scatter her ashes. All in in all, it's a well written and the biggest take away for me is people grieve in different ways.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Harper Perennial through Edelweiss.
"Someone you love is gone" is a tragic yet beautiful examination of love lost, unending grief and strength found in family when life is at its most difficult. Gurjinder Basran's novels looks at two generations of family who face their own tragedies respectively; one is the death of a mother, and the other is memories of a past lover and a relationship that never came to fruition due to tragic circumstances. Simran, the eldest daughter, of the Sandhu family is lost and is in the deep trenches of grief as she has a difficult time accepting her mother's death while also examining her relationship with her brother and why he had to leave the family many hears ago. To add, her relationship with her husband and daughter is extremely distant. Simultaneously. we get a look of Simran's mother, Amrita, when she discovers love for the first time but then looses it as soon as she realizes it. She is forced to start a life that she has no control over and this "new start" has long lasting implications. This books shows that secrets are never secrets and are eventually unearthed. Basran shows the power of family and that they are the people the best understand you even if that is not what you want.
I am always looking to discover Canadian novelists to add to my repertoire, so when I discovered Gurjinder Basran and found out her newest novel, Someone You Love Is Gone, was publishing this month, I added it to the top of my TBR pile.
Initially, I was finding this story downright depressing. Simran, the lead character and whose narrative voice is most heard throughout the story, has just lost her mother and is still grieving over the disintegration of her marriage and the loss of her child. As her life is unraveling, she begins to question all sorts of incidents in her child, especially those involving her younger brother, and the past comes flooding back.
Told through alternating time periods, the present (dealing with her mother’s funeral, family relationships and her own grief) and remembering the past (her brother being sent away, talk of arranged marriage and trying to balance a patriarchal culture with what teenaged Simran wants) the author is able to delve into and dissect so many issues within very few pages. Someone You Love Is Gone packed a serious punch!
Grief is obviously explored throughout the pages, but, in the end, this story became an investigation into all sorts of loss: loss of one’s self, loss of another, loss of a dream, loss of a path.
It was very diverse; I loved that the characters were Indian and various forms of the Indian culture and customs was discussed throughout the pages.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys adult contemporary fiction; it was dynamic, well written and will absolutely stay with you long after you have turned the final page.
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.
An honest and articulately crafted exploration of grief, disappointment, and the search for redemption.
Many thanks to Harper for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.