Because of India

Release Date: May 2020
YA Contemporary

Edalene Brooks has a desire to run from the past. After moving with her family from their small, urban apartment following the passing of her little sister in a car accident, she decides to take action. She packs a suitcase, makes a break for the nearest bus stop, and doesn’t look back. That is, until she hears the voice of her next-door neighbor, India, who challenges her to face her choice. 

Choosing to stay because of India, Edalene becomes aware of the way India fills the empty parts of her that her sister left behind. Despite experiencing the ups and downs of friendship as they grow up together, Edalene is content.


But when tragedy strikes and India makes an abrupt exit from Edalene’s life, she finds herself repeating the same past she attempted to run from. Left to pick up the pieces, Edalene struggles with her newfound independence and following through with India’s last words to her: "Be brave, Eda.”


In her darkest moments, Edalene uncovers secrets about India that she never knew, including secrets that may reveal India’s motives behind her death. 




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"An emotionally propelling, coming-of-age story like none other, wherein two young girls learn the bittersweet complications of dependency on platonic love.

Narrator Edalene, whose childhood was uprooted by the results of a traumatic family death, is halfway out the door to run away from home when she unexpectedly meets her peculiar, young, next-door neighbor, India. Hand-in-hand, the two embark on a unique and emotionally challenging journey through adolescence in small town, suburban Pennsylvania. Strange tragedies alongside typical teenage predicaments lead them to become inseparable, which proves heartbreaking when they are, inevitably, separated. As Edalene is forced to come to terms with moving forward without her other half, she fights through a vicious world of addiction, depression, and precarious self-exploration to discover who she is as an individual, and how severely her life changed because of India.


Sumey’s character-centric novel is poignant, authentic, and captivating. Her natural, elegant prose carries the reader through the life of Edalene Brooks and binds the story together with one constant, underlying theme: our humanity and vulnerability is what makes us strong."

- Alyse Bailey 


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