Meh. The intended comparisons between Indian life and American life didn't work for me. Uma's story comprises about 2/3 of the book, and ends extremely abruptly, as if Desai forgot to finish, and her brother Arun's experiences in the US felt flat - the Pattons are dripping with stereotype - the carnivore father who doesn't understand why Arun's a vegetarian, the mother who's lost her entire personality to her family, the running-obsessed athletic son, and the bulimic teenage daughter.Two things that were mildly interesting about the book:1) At one point Uma begins having seizures that her aunt attributes to being "chosen" by Shiva. In contrast to every other aspect of her plain, unremarkable life, this potential blossomingof Uma's into a Hindu mystic seems bursting with mystery. Until nothing ever comes of it and one day she nearly drowns and never has a fit again.2) As Mrs. Patton takes Arun under her wing and enlists him to help her become a vegetarian, their relationship develops a fair amount of sexual tension - something Arun, as the POV character, seems intensely aware of, although he never does anything about it. It's possible that Mrs. Patton is aware of it, too, or that she's completely oblivious - you never really get that far into her head. And, like Uma's mysticism, the sexual tension never goes anywhere.