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America for Beginners


A poignant debut that explores unlikely friendships forged in unusual ...
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Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

Created: 07/26/19

Replies: 6

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2754

Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?


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

Join Date: 08/01/16

Posts: 70

RE: Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

I really liked Pival. Although I have never experienced living in a situation such as hers I could relate to her nervousness in undertaking such a huge venture. She has never had the opportunity to be independent and to express her views with confidence. She developed, or always had, great strength of character and I admired her. There have been times when I have had to stand up for what I believed and differ from other's views. It caused anxiety but, in the long run, I was glad I chose to do what I did.
I think the author did a great job of making Pival such a sympathetic character


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

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 127

RE: Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

Pival is my favorite and probably the one I'm most like, tho many of the customs were foreign to me. I am impressed with Franqui's ability to understand a woman of Pival's age. Not everyone can. Ronnie was my least favorite. He oozed sleeze.


Posted Jul. 31, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 304

RE: Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

I agree with dianeh and carolt, I felt closest to Pival, most like her in age, parenthood, and more. I admired her grace under pressure, her bravery and ultimately her openness to change, after so much trauma. But I liked Rebecca too: in a way her struggle was similar to Pival’s (and Bhim’s). She also had to break away from expectations of how she should live her life (though her parents were far from being abusive) and find her own way. She was more like my younger self (minus the one-night affairs, and also the wealth).

Apart from Ram, there weren’t any characters I disliked. Franqui made them all convincingly, as flawed in
some way (except Mr. Ghazi, perhaps), but also, she showed them as good-hearted and open to one another.


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

Join Date: 01/26/17

Posts: 23

RE: Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

I think I am most like Rebecca, a little traveled with some cultural sensitivity, judgmental parents, artsy aspirations and loyalty to those I care about. I liked Satya and his devotion to Pival having a good experience, all the while never really getting over his taking the job from Ravi. I had to grow to like Jake as I initially found his sometimes pushy ways with Bhim annoying.


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

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 327

RE: Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

sharonj, so interesting that you found Jake pushy! I didn't even consider that as I was reading. But I can see it now... Jake didn't always respect Bhim's cultural beliefs that made him feel ashamed for being who he was. And at the same time, I really liked Jake. He was open and honest. He had wonderful family support. He tried really hard to be patient with Bhim because he loved him so much. Bhim's shame drove him crazy, and yes, he did push sometimes, but ultimately he tried very hard to accept Bhim for who he was without issuing ultimatums or guilt (too much). Jake trusted himself enough to know that Bhim was the love of his life. And I was touched that a year after Bhim's death, he was still mourning the loss. And I loved how he was willing to work at developing a relationship with Pival. It would have been very easy for Jake to hate her for the way Bhim was treated by his father and the fact that she remained silent.

I also really liked Satya. Given his back story, the way he took the job from his friend was understandable. Desperate people do desperate things-even to those they care about. But Satya wasn't cold about it. He felt guilty and disappointed in himself. I liked how he went to great lengths to redeem himself in his friend's eyes-even if they would never talk or see one another again.

I just wasn't a huge Rebecca fan. I think she was the stereotypical American woman that all of Pival's friends were afraid of- -and the reason that Pival traveling alone was "scandalous". I get that Rebecca was stuck in a rut and feeling a little lost about who she was and what she wanted. I just feel like having her turn to lots of booze and lots of sex was too easy and not at all creative.


Posted Aug. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 406

RE: Which character do you consider yourself to be most like? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

I really liked the character of Pival, although I cannot say I walked in her shoes. She was wise and caring and when the opportunity arouse, she was determined to learn about her son. In making the journey, she learned much about herself. When she returned home, she took the time and energy to share what she learned and to help others.
Least favorite character was Ronnie. Out for himself.


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