the reestablishment of cordial relations
This had happened more often than he cared to admit over the past three months, ever since he and Celia had broken up. And now that there was zero hope for
reconciliation...Ashish supposed this was what he could expect for the foreseeable future.
a swaggering show of courage
The thought of endless Saturday nights spooling out before him made him feel a little physically ill, so he injected even more
bravado into his voice.
lacking worth or importance
They’d mostly been talking about
inconsequential things, but when Amma’s tone turned darker and her volume quieter, Sweetie knew to lean in and hold her breath.
a person who is loathsome or disgusting
Her own mother was that ashamed of Sweetie’s looks. She thought Sweetie was an
a small or moderate or token amount
But she had found a
modicum of peace within herself that Amma was somehow bent on taking away.
in a mistaken manner
Sweetie Nair, he’d
erroneously thought, would be a Goody Two-shoes, full-bottle-of-coconut-oil-in-the-hair, devout Indian daughter.
impinge or infringe upon
Ashish took off like a rocket. He was just wondering if he should slow down, give the girl a chance, when her shadow
encroached on him.
cause to feel shame
Ashish found this detail almost painfully cute, and he had to rearrange his facial features to look
too numerous to be counted
I wanted to show you I’m not lazy, unhealthy, or any of the
myriad other things people tend to assume.
extremely exciting as if by alcohol or a narcotic
When the breeze blew, Ashish caught a whiff of her—even sweating, she smelled soft and sweet, like caramel laced with something
heady and girly.
in an essential manner
I mean, the word ‘fat’ isn’t
inherently bad or gross. It’s people who’ve made it that way.
a slight suggestion or vague understanding
Studying Sweetie, he got an
inkling that there were many things she’d had to deal with all her life that he’d never given a second thought to.
without or almost without hope
He had a feeling he wouldn’t be sipping a Coke
despondently on his balcony tonight.
They high-fived, Achchan’s face pink with
having a sweet nature befitting an angel
Looking at his round, almost
cherubic face, thick black mustache streaked with gray, and his big, soft belly, Sweetie felt a tug of affection.
novel; having no earlier occurrence
unprecedented. Sweetie never, ever drove when her parents were accompanying her.
guffawing at what he thought was his razor-sharp wit.
agree or express agreement
acquiesced with a slight nod of her head.
inspiring fear or dread
That was his boardroom someone’s-gonna-get-fired face. He’d seen it once when he was a kid and Pappa had to take him in to work because Ma was sick. He’d never forgotten it. It was...formidable.
refine or make more perfect or effective
It was a careful game of cat and mouse he’d
honed over the years.
fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
He’d told Sweetie he was willing to go behind their parents’ backs, and he didn’t want to
renege on that.
the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
I know you didn’t say it in those exact words, but that was the
gist of it and Sweetie heard that part.
resistant to guidance or discipline
Do you want the focus to be on your
wayward ways when it comes time for them to announce their engagement?
indicating favorable circumstances and good luck
“Are you serious? You want me to take her to the temple for our first date?”
“Why not?” Pappa said. “It is an
auspicious place, full of good omens.”
not in keeping with accepted standards of what is proper
“At least this way when we do tell them, we can say we kept a guiding hand on you two and made sure nothing
liable to lead to sudden change or violence
Maybe it was that single act of rebellion, going to see Ashish Patel and deciding to date him behind her back, but it was like something bright and
volatile was beginning to spark inside of her.
give authority or permission to
So now it was what she was wearing to the party and what she could eat there? What else might Amma want to
sanction? How much air she could breathe?
intensity or forcefulness of expression
“That is ridiculous,” Anjali Chechi said, her voice loud with endearing
assign to a lower position
relegated herself to the backseat after what Amma said in the restaurant, and the environment in the car was prickly and still and weird.
Are they gonna tell my parents?
No, don't think so. They've got another
nefarious plan though ugh.
marked by prudence or modesty and wise self-restraint
She nudged him
discreetly with her elbow.
an uncalled-for burden
“Of course he can go, if it won’t be an
imposition on your parents,” Ma said.
characterized by ardent emotion, intensity, or brilliance
Feeling her cheeks glow
incandescent, Sweetie added quickly, “Uh, their four-date thing, I mean.”
not functioning properly
Ashish didn’t seem to think anything was
amiss, he just looked genuinely surprised.
free from emotional agitation or nervous tension
“Shh! I don’t want the whole world to know, okay?” Kayla, Suki, and Izzy looked
in a sullen, moody manner
Sweetie took a bite of her dosha and chewed
morosely. She hated feeling this way.
a form of social organization in which men hold power
patriarchy,” Suki said darkly. “Holding women up to higher standards.”
innocent and free of deceit
He seemed the most nervous about this conversation, his gray eyes big and
the most important point
Trust Oliver to get to the
crux of the matter.
scold or reprimand severely or angrily
“Sorry I asked,” Samir mumbled, sounding genuinely