Raised by her widowed mother and the youngest of six daughters, Meena is a young Indo-Canadian woman struggling to find her place in the world. As a restless and headstrong teenager, she knows that the freedom experienced by her Canadian peers is beyond her reach. But unlike her older sisters, Meena refuses to accept a life that is defined by an arranged marriage. She befriends a young man named Liam, a social outcast and kindred spirit, who asks her to run away with him. As she weighs her decision carefully, she learns that she is too late-he has already left without a trace. Faced with increasing pressure from her family and her tight-knit community, Meena must confront the expectations placed on her, and with them, all the rippling consequences that follow. Heartbreaking and beautiful, Everything Was Good-bye is an unforgettable story about family, love, and loss, and the complexities of living in two different cultural worlds.
Basran's raw, sad debut tells the story of Meena's struggle between her desires and her Indian family's traditions. In 1980s Vancouver, teenaged Meena, the youngest of six sisters, chafes against her widowed mother's strictures, made worse by the fact that her older sister, Harj, ran away. When Meena starts hanging out with Liam, a white boy from school who shares her love for post-punk music and her outsider's view of the world, she longs to give in to her deepening feelings for him, but she knows she can't hurt her mother that badly. After Liam leaves Vancouver, breaking Meena's heart, Meena enters into a loveless arranged marriage with spoiled "catch" Sunny Gill and begins a trance of unhappiness broken only when she runs into Liam at a party. With Sunny in India for six weeks, Meena and Liam tumble into a torrid affair that reopens the same questions about love and approval. When Meena's choice becomes even more complicated, the odds of disaster rise, and Meena must finally find her inner strength. Basran writes with insight and humor, balancing the tragic bitterness of Meena's struggle with an easy style that pulls the reader along.