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Synopsis

A smart debut novel that explores the complexities of cultural differences, family loyalties, and what is lost in translation.

Harris, the patriarch of his large extended family in both England and Pakistan, has unexpectedly received a “small fortune” from his divorce settlement with an English woman. As a devout Muslim, Harris views this sum as a “burden of riches” that he must unload on someone else as quickly as possible. But deciding which relative to give it to proves to be a burden of its own, and soon he has promised it both to his extremely poor cousins in Pakistan and to his Westernized, college student daughter. In a rash bout of guilt and misunderstanding, Harris signs the entire sum away to the least deserving, most prosperous cousin of all, exacerbating a tricky web of familial debt and obligation on two sides of the world.

With insight, affection, and a great gift for character and story, Rosie Dastgir immerses us in a rich, beautifully drawn immigrant community and a complex extended family. She considers the challenges between relatives of different cultural backgrounds, generations, and experiences—and the things they have to teach one another. A Small Fortune offers an affecting look at class, culture, and the heartbreak of misinterpretation.

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