This is a sad sad, very sad book which the New York Times names as one of the best books of 2014. Birhu Mishra is the eldest son of New Dehli immigrants. He is the all around golden boy--smart, diligent, a good son and brother, friendly, and all things that anyone could want in a person. Soon after he obtains admission to one of the elite charter schools in New York City he has a near fatal diving accident in a swimming pool, leaving him with severe anoxyic brain injury. It is a game changer for his family.
Severe illness in a member of the family changes everyone forever. In this instance, Birhu's younger brother Ajay loses an ability to have pride in himself. He has many of the same talents as his brother, but his life, as well as the life of his mother, revolves around Birhu. The father becomes despondent and alcoholic, and so the family has two secrets to hide, no just one. The book is sparse and clear. Nicely done.