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America for Beginners


A poignant debut that explores unlikely friendships forged in unusual ...
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While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

Created: 07/26/19

Replies: 24

Posted Jul. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?


Posted Jul. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elyseg

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 29

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

The thought occurred to me once or twice, I think it was the author's intention. But I could not see a reason for him to fake his death, since his father had already denied him.


Posted Jul. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianeh

Join Date: 08/01/16

Posts: 70

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I kept hoping that he would be alive but I suppose that would have made the story too much of a fairy tale


Posted Jul. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 304

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I did expect that initially, partly because Pival acted in that hope, partly because there was a fair amount of gentle humor throughout the struggles of Ronnie and others, that gave me an impression of a light-hearted book that would have a happy ending. Gradually I began to be less certain of that, but still I hoped. I expected the drama might hinge around a difficult reunion... I wasn’t expecting Bihm would die that way.


Posted Jul. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
suelizbeth

Join Date: 01/15/17

Posts: 19

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I did think so right up until the story of his death. When his father got the phone call and told his mother that he was dead, I thought he was being vindictive and euphemistic. I so much wanted them to reunite but it would have been a different kind of book.


Posted Jul. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 84

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I went back and forth about this. I was hoping, of course, that he was still alive, and I could believe that his father lied to his mother. I never thought he'd faked his death, though.


Posted Jul. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 314

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I never thought Bhim was still alive. His father had already banished him from the home and the family's lives, so there was nothing for him to gain by telling his wife after the banishment that he had physically died, if it wasn't true.

I couldn't help wondering though how things could have been different if Bhim still had been alive, especially with his father dead and out of the picture. Pival was prepared to to give Jake a piece of her mind and drag Bhim home, but I think she would have realized it didn't matter if Bhim was gay or straight- -only that he was happy and with someone he loved, and who loved him. Imagine too how the relationship between Jake and Bhim would have changed with Bhim having the love and support of a parent.


Posted Jul. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I initially thought he might be alive but was persuaded as I read that he wasn't. I wondered how he had died, and assumed it must have been sudden or there would have been opportunities to try to contact his family, but the actual cause of his death came as quite a shock and, I thought, was beautifully handled by the author.


Posted Jul. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritah

Join Date: 05/26/11

Posts: 62

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I did think he might be alive, right up until the door opened. I thought that his father had lied to his mother in order to stop any more discussion of the issue. I guess I was hoping for a happier ending rather than having Pival so alone. As a widow myself, I feel the loneliness ahead for her and am so sad.


Posted Jul. 31, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 125

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

Yes, I thought it was a possibility and I hoped for it to be true. The writer didn’t make it definitive , kind of left it open so that it might have been true that he was still alive.. and there was the mystery of how he died right up until the end . I was actually surprised at the fact that he had a heart attack.. I kept suspecting suicide .


Posted Jul. 31, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 127

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

Yes, until the story of his death. I didn't trust his father at all. Franqui did an excellent job of writing Bhim's story without letting on that he was already gone.


Posted Jul. 31, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tcheer4life

Join Date: 07/31/19

Posts: 4

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

Oh, yes, for most of the book. I, too, thought possibly his father told Piva he died because in the father's eyes his son was dead as soon as Bhim expressed that he loved men.


Posted Aug. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
xandrabk

Join Date: 04/16/19

Posts: 24

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I was very hopeful for his mom that Bhim would still be alive. I was hurt and disappointed for her.


Posted Aug. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 406

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

Initially I thought that Bhim might still be alive. Ram was abusive enough to say Bhim was dead, meaning "dead to the family", in order to hurt Pival. Once I was further into the book, I suspected that Bhim might have committed suicide, considering his depressed state. The ending was a surprise and very well done.


Posted Aug. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sharonj

Join Date: 01/26/17

Posts: 23

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I was surprised and sad that Bhim was really gone. I think there could have been so much more healing and growing if the author had gone down this path. Ultimately, Pival and Jake's working through their anger and sharing their love for Bhim was a satisfying ending for me.


Posted Aug. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 134

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I agree with acstrine, I believed Bhim was dead and his father told his mother the truth. The father had no reason to lie. His mother didn't know how he died or who he loved in America which are good reasons to travel there.


Posted Aug. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 172

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I was hoping he was still alive. A mother should 'feel' the presence of her child's existence. Many time, people state they know the exact moment their child left the earth. Hope is all there is.


Posted Aug. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janicea

Join Date: 04/20/17

Posts: 30

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I went back and forth thinking Bhim may be alive. I agree with others that Ram may have lied to Pival about their son’s death, as Ram knew it would cause Pival great pain. The lie would also serve to stop questions from family and friends about Bhim coming back to India and being matched for marriage; allowing the father to save face in his community regarding his son’s sexuality and the real reason Bhim does not return. Discovering the truth that Bhim was dead disappointed, but did not distress, me. Learning about his life in California and relationship with Jake was rewarding. I believe that this helped Pival start to process her great loss.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianes

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 68

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I too kept going back and forth and hoping for her sake it was true, but on the whole it was only a wish. Deep down I knew he wasn't, would have made the book to goody goody, unrealistic.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RRO

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 28

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I was certain that Ram had lied about his death, although as the story progressed I was having some doubts about the potential lie. I didn't completely believe that Bhim was dead until Pival met Jake.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 98

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I was sure that Pival's husband had lied, however it seemed that would be such a mean thing to do that I thought Rahi was dead. I wondered what exactly he HAD lied about. I wondered about the possibility of marriage and a surrogate child.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christinep

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 45

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I really hoped that Bhim would be alive but as Pival's journey brought her closer to the end and I got to know more about him and his mother's relationship, I figured if he was alive, he would have been in contact with Pival no matter what the father's wishes were.


Posted Aug. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 238

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

In the beginning I was hopeful, but that hope dissipated as I kept reading and I just knew he was dead. So much as I wanted to keep my hope alive, it ended well before I knew definitely.


Posted Aug. 14, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 92

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

Yes I was certain that he was still alive. I tended to want this for Pival and Bhim. Franqui created a loving relationship between mother and son. The intention that Pival’s life go back to the happiness it was before she married seemed to be underlying and opposite of the suicide theme.


Posted Aug. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teachlz

Join Date: 07/28/16

Posts: 43

RE: While reading, did you think that Bhim might still be alive, and be reunited with his mother? Why or why not?

I think I was really hoping for Bhim to be alive, suspecting that he wasn't. I was looking forward to a reunion and a happily ever after.


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