A younger immigrant adjusts to existence in America in Thrity Umrigar’s evocatively titled Sugar in Milk. “When I first got here to this country, I felt so alone,” the young girl reveals. Though she lives along with her Auntie and Uncle, she struggles with loneliness and misses her family and buddies returned home. Recognizing her niece’s sadness and isolation, her Auntie takes her for a stroll and stocks a story with the female:
Once upon a time, a few Persian refugees made their manner to India however had been grew to become away by using the king. Then a courageous guy dissolved some sugar into a totally complete glass of milk, creating a visible metaphor to convey how the refugees would “sweeten your lives with our presence” and correctly establishing peace between the refugees and the king. Hearing this story will become a turning factor for the woman, and he or she begins to comprehend her “new and magical homeland.”
Illustrator Thao Le’s palette incorporates fascinating cool tones of teal, copper and crimson in addition to rich, beguiling blues. Elaborate borders prompt the spreads depicting Auntie’s story and end up more and more certain with every page turn, marking her ancient story as separate from the primary narrative and including a feel of ritual to its telling. The book’s opening and final spreads—that is, before and after Auntie’s story—are a observe in contrasts as the woman’s dull, solitary winter days vanish, replaced by means of spring sunshine and blooming flowers.
Sugar in Milk powerfully demonstrates how a easy tale can extensively alter one’s attitude for the better. It’s a timely exploration of undying issues of attractiveness and what it means to name an area home.