For fans of The Burning Girl by Claire Messud and Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, a stunning, gut-punch of a novel that follows a young Indian American woman who, in the wake of tragedy, must navigate her family’s expectations as she grapples with a complicated love and loss.
On the cusp of her eighteenth birthday, Heera and her best friends, siblings Marie and Marco, are teasing the fun out of life in Raleigh, North Carolina, committing rebellious acts of teenage delinquency. They paint the town’s water towers with red anarchy symbols and hang out at the local bus station to pickpocket money for their Great Escape to New York. But no matter how much Heera defies her strict upbringing, she’s always avoided any real danger—until one devastating night changes everything.
In its wake, Marco reinvents himself as Crash and spends his days womanizing and burning through a string of jobs. Meanwhile, Heera’s dream to go to college in New York is upended by a family illness, and she eventually finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage. Over the years, Heera’s and Crash’s paths cross and recross on a journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, and betrayals.
Heart-wrenching, darkly funny, and buoyed by gorgeous prose, Circa is at once an irresistible love story and a portrait of a young woman torn between duty and her own survival, between what’s expected of her and what she desires.