America for Beginners by Leah Franqui is a poignant story, told with careful, respectful prose. A year after the death of her husband, an Indian woman, Pival Sengupta, decides to visit her gay and estranged son in the United States. Under the guise of a country tour, Pival travels with Satya, the tour guide, and Rebecca, a hired actress to be her traveling companion. Pival’s eyes and mind are opened on this journey, as are the perspectives of her guides, as they navigate the countryside’s highlights to their destination in Los Angeles. In between the traveling chapters, Pival’s son and his lover have their story told, which explores how they met and learned about each other’s histories. America for Beginners is a story of discovery, heartache, unconditional love, and finding happiness, wherever or however it is. A real gem. Recommended to those who liked A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, or enjoy contemporary fiction.