Title: Beloved Strangers
Author: Maria Chaudhuri
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Cultural (South Asian)
Rating: 4 out of 5
As a young girl growing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Maria Chaudhuri didn’t quite fit into her surroundings. She yearned for something different and saw only unhappiness and frustration around her. As she grows into a young woman, and travels from Bangladesh to the United States, Chaudhuri begins to question the pull of home, wondering where she might belong.
Maria Chaudhuri’s memoir is a beautifully written tale of her own coming of age, her realization of the best and worst of her life, and her eventual acceptance of who she is. Chaudhuri writes gorgeously of her upbringing in Dhaka, of the disappointments and frustrations that her parents faced, only to experience similar things herself. These issues drove her away from home, convincing Chaudhuri that she would never return. While her experiences aren’t singular, she writes about them very well, exposing her inner thoughts and emotions for the reader. Those who enjoy cultural memoirs should absolutely pick up Beloved Strangers.