Perfect for readers of Jhumpa Lahiri and Anne Tyler, Someone You Love Is Gone is a beautifully rendered, multi-generational story of secrets and ghosts that haunt a family.
I sit at the table and forget myself for a moment and the past steps forward. The house is as it was before Father died, and even before that, before Diwa left and before Jyoti was born. The house had a different light then or perhaps that’s just memory casting a glow on everything, candlelight and sunset, everything only slightly visible. Mother is in the kitchen, washing the dinner dishes. Steam is rising and the window in front of her fogs over her reflection. Even here, she is a ghost.
Simran’s mother has died but is not gone. Haunted by her mother’s spirit and memories of the past, she struggles to make sense of her world. Faced with disillusion in her marriage, growing distance from her daughter and sister, and the return of her long-estranged brother, she is troubled by questions to which she has no answers. As the life Simran has carefully constructed unravels, she must confront the truth of why her brother was separated from the family at a young age, and in doing so she uncovers an ancestral inheritance that changes everything. She allows her grief to transform her life, but in ways that ultimately give her the deep sense of self she has been craving, discovering along the way family secrets that cross continents, generations, and even lifetimes.
Gurjinder Basran’s mesmerizingly beautiful novel, Someone You Love Is Gone, is a powerful exploration of loss and love, memory and history, family ties and family secrets, and the thin veil between this life and the next.