Book Review: America for Beginners by Leah Franqui

August 7, 2018


America for Beginners by Leah Franqui is a novel which follows a mother from India, traveling to the United States in search of her son. This is Ms. Franqui’s first novel.

The publisher is giving away one (1) copy of this book – enter via the rafflecoper form at the end of the post.

  • 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062668757

Book Review: America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
My rating for America for Beginners5
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More Books by Leah Franqui


As someone who loves to travel and loves road trips, I picked up America for Beginners by Leah Franqui since I not only love to do so, but also love to read about and especially from an outsider’s perspective. I read this book a week before I took the family on vacation, and was surprised to see some of the places we were going to visit in the next week mentioned (Niagara Falls and the wonderful Corning Museum of Glass).

One of the things which jumped at me, and that I noticed over the years, was that Indian tourists love to eat at Indian restaurants, which I find strange. Part of traveling, for me, is to enjoy the local colors and flavors, trying new thing and, if possible, eat authentically. I understand that you can have dietary restrictions, or like certain food but to restrict yourself to only one cuisine around the world seems to me to be a waste of an experience.

The book shows us the same experience through three sets of eyes, Mrs. Sengupta, Satya, and the American Rebecca Elliot. Mrs. Sengupta just wants to get to California to find her gay son, she enjoys the trip but doesn’t really care about the agenda. Satya is Mrs. Sengupta’s “tour guide”, only that he has been in the country about a year and his knowledge encompasses only what he can remember from guide books, since this is the first time he is visiting many of the locations himself. Rebecca, an out of work actress, is basically going on a paid vacation to ensure that the elderly Mrs. Sengupta and Satya are not alone.

The author managed to write a compassionate book without being kitschy or sentimental. The book was a light read with interesting points of view.


Pival Sengupta has been told by her husband that their gay son died in the United States, the whole circumstance seemed strange to her so in order to believe the horrible news, the new widow booked a first class trip to the United States by herself.

On her cross country trip from New York to California she is joined by a clueless guide, Satya, and Rebecca Elliot, a young white woman who is joining them for modesty purposes.


  • Give­away ends: August 14, 2018

  • Winners must have a valid e-mail address

  • US Address Only please

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours.
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America for Beginners by Leah Franqui

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