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3.5 

All This Could Be Different

By Sarah Thankam Mathews
All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

2022 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

ONE OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES' TOP 5 FICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR

ONE OF TIME AND SLATE'S TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR

Named one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2022 by NPR, Vogue, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Harper's Bazaar, and more

One of the buzziest, most human novels of the year…breathless, dizzying, and completely beautiful.” Vogue

“Dazzling and wholly original...[written] with such mordant wit, insight, and specificity, it feels like watching a new literary star being born in real time.” Entertainment Weekly

From a brilliant new voice comes an electrifying novel of a young immigrant building a life for herself—a warm, dazzling, and profound saga of queer love, friendship, work, and precarity in twenty-first century America


Graduating into the long maw of an American recession, Sneha is one of the fortunate ones. She’s moved to Milwaukee for an entry-level corporate job that, grueling as it may be, is the key that unlocks every door: she can pick up the tab at dinner with her new friend Tig, get her college buddy Thom hired alongside her, and send money to her parents back in India. She begins dating women—soon developing a burning crush on Marina, a beguiling and beautiful dancer who always seems just out of reach.

But before long, trouble arrives. Painful secrets rear their heads; jobs go off the rails; evictions loom. Sneha struggles to be truly close and open with anybody, even as her friendships deepen, even as she throws herself headlong into a dizzying romance with Marina. It’s then that Tig begins to draw up a radical solution to their problems, hoping to save them all.

A beautiful and capacious novel rendered in singular, unforgettable prose, All This Could Be Different is a wise, tender, and riveting group portrait of young people forging love and community amidst struggle, and a moving story of one immigrant’s journey to make her home in the world.

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217 Reviews

3.5
“This is a beautifully written book. I’m glad I took my time with it to take in all the emotions and feels. This book touched on a lot of important themes such as love, found family, navigating relationships and cultural differences. There was also discourse about capitalism, immigration and American society. I loved how the characters were able to embody mutual aid and apply communal practices. I loved every bit of this book and will definitely reread it again.”
Thumbs Up
Diverse charactersMulti-layered charactersOriginal writingComing of ageDark
Diverse charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenOriginal writingRealistic settingDarkThought-provoking

About Sarah Thankam Mathews

Sarah Thankam Mathews grew up between Oman and India, immigrating to the United States at seventeen. Her work has been published in Best American Short Stories and she is a recipient of fellowships from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 2020, she founded the mutual aid group Bed-Stuy Strong. All This Could Be Different is her first novel.

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