And Laughter Fell From the Sky

Jyotsna Sreenivasan's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Today's guest: Jyotsna Sreenivasan Her latest: And Laughter Fell From the Sky (out today!) 

Why we love her: She writes a powerful novel about the power of love.

The scoop: Still living at home despite a good career and financial independence, beautiful and sophisticated Rasika has always been the dutiful daughter. With her twenty-sixth birthday fast approaching, she agrees to an arranged marriage, all while trying to hide from her family her occasional dalliances with other men.

Abhay is everything an Indian-American son shouldn't be. Having spent his postcollege years living in a commune, he now hops from one dead-end job to another, brooding over what he really wants to do with his life.

Old family friends, Rasika and Abhay seem to have nothing in common, yet when the two reconnect by chance, sparks immediately fly. Abhay loves Rasika, but he knows her family would never approve. Rasika reluctantly accepts she has feelings for Abhay, but can she turn her back on the family rules she has always tried so hard to live by? The search to find answers takes Abhay and Rasika out of their native Ohio to Oregon and India, where they find that what they have together might just be something worth fighting for.

Our thoughts: A charming debut that we couldn't put down. One of the best books we've read in a long time. 

Fun fact: We read the book because Laura Dave blurbed it. Love her taste in authors. She also turned us on to the fabulous Isabel Gillies.

Giveaway: 5 copies! Just leave a comment and we'll randomly select the winners after 6pm PST on Sunday, June 24.

Where you can read more about Jyotsna: Facebook , Twitter and her website.


1. Mom and Dad worked a lot harder to raise you than you’ll ever realize. Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t realize how hard it is to be a parent, or I’d never have become one! My mom and dad were always there for me, maintaining a stable house and life. It looks easy when someone else is doing it for you!

2. You don’t have to pretend that you have it all together. It’s OK to ask for help. When I was a teen and young adult, I somehow had the idea that seeing a counselor or asking for help was only for people who were really messed up—and I didn’t want to be in that category! So I just muddled through my life, making some good decisions and some bad decisions. I wish I had realized that being human means that none of us has it all together, and that all of us need help at times.

3. Boys are a lot less mature and responsible, and probably a lot less clean, than you think they are. Now that I have a teenaged son, this has become immensely clear to me. . . .

4. Sometimes it’s OK to be angry, to show your anger, and to make sure you get your way. I was a “nice girl” and it was only years later that I realized that my anger came out in passive-aggressive ways. For example, some of those bad decisions I mentioned above were made, I think, mainly to annoy my parents. Instead of just getting angry and getting over it, I made decisions that ended up affecting me for years.

5. God is there for you even though you’re going through your agnostic phase. My parents believe in God, and I was taught to say prayers and to believe in God. I thought this was what everyone did. Then I got to high school and encountered teachers who did not necessarily believe in the existence of God. At that time, this seemed very sophisticated to me. I’m glad now that God was looking out for me even when I didn’t realize it.

Thanks, Jyotsna!


Liz & Lisa