Balance of Fragile Things (Paperback)
A multicultural American family comes together just as the world around them begins to fall apart
When Vic Singh finds a dead blue butterfly-out of place in his cold, upstate New York village-he knows something is terribly amiss. Yet he is too busy dodging the bully at his high school, let alone trying to live up to his father's expectations, to look much further into the environmental oddities around him. Meanwhile, for Vic's father, Paul, the ghosts of the past cause him to pressure his son to live up to his Sikh traditions-while his Latvian wife, Maija, is haunted by the present: She's having new and ominous psychic visions even though she can't read her own teenage children. Isabella, attempting to lose herself through her role in a school play, has an illness she can't seem to shake-and Vic, trying to find himself, is spending more time alone in nature.
Then Paul's father and Maija's mother move in to the family home, upending the delicate balance of this Indian/Latvian family and its two American teenagers. Yet, as the environmental devastation that Vic's butterflies have forewarned comes to bear, the family comes together in new and unexpected ways. Olivia Chadha's lovely, multilayered novel brings us into an extended family of three generations that strives to remain together in an unstable world.