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Balance of Fragile Things

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


"Chadha’s prose is equally gorgeous and precise, and always full of energy and movement."
—John Vernon, author of Lucky Billy and The Last Canyon

"A luminous and sophisticated novel, Balance of Fragile Things offers a compelling view into modern family life with all its complications, secrets, and unbreakable bonds."
—Debra Ginsberg, author of The Grift and What the Heart Remembers

"Here is a new voice in American literature worth celebrating." 
—Greg Ames, author of Buffalo Lockjaw

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.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 22, 2012 – Chadha's absorbing first novel depicts a family of first-generation immigrants in upstate New York encountering the difficulties of survival, assimilation and longing for home. Teenager Vic Singh is intrigued with butterflies and notices odd happenings lately. His blog, recounting his sightings and meditations on nature, is a clever device furthering the plot. Vic has always been a victim of bullies because of his Sikh heritage but it doesn't bother him, especially after he falls into a sinkhole in the woods that leads him to his own secret place. Vic's sister, Isabella has been convinced by her best friend to be in the drama club play but her nervous vomiting worsens when Michelle leaves school with leukemia and Isabella must take over the lead. Their father, Ikpaul, is despairing about his business losses. His Kwicki Fill station is suffering because of the constant roadwork on his street. His Latvian wife, Maija fears the "sight" that sends her dreams of death and disaster, but won't foretell her family's future. The arrival of Ikpaul's father and Maija's mother transforms the family and gives them strength to confront looming danger but mutated butterflies, strange illnesses and a curious find in Vic's "hide" can't be ignored any longer. It's a delightful intrigue, with strong characters who develop and grow throughout the book as they face frightening turns.
Balance of Fragile Things
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Sep 01, 2012
  • Publisher: Ashland Creek Press
  • Seller: Byte Level Research LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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