"Chadha's absorbing first novel depicts a family of first-generation immigrants in upstate New York encountering the difficulties of survival, assimilation and longing for home...It's a delightful intrigue, with strong characters who develop and grow throughout the book as they face frightening turns."
"Chadha picks, with the calculated tenacity of an archaeologist, at the social, economic, religious and geographical components of modern-day American life in her well-constructed debut novel, Balance of Fragile Things. By setting the events in an imagined upstate New York village, she allows her story to pay homage to the writers of the earliest American narratives that reflected the birth of the nation—Hawthorne, Thoreau, Hutchinson—yet her perspicacity reveals an America which would at present be unrecognizable by those pioneers... Each character’s personal exploration of self reveals something about another member of the family. As they unknowingly answer one another’s questions, a greater picture of the community emerges, leaving readers with an unexpected, yet believable, revelation about life in America."
"Olivia Chadha’s Balance of Fragile Things tells a unique story and tells it with comic flair and rich, maximalist prose. The members of a mixed Sikh and Latvian family in a rust-belt town in upstate New York discover a dark secret about the town’s industrial past, but there are town fathers who don’t want it revealed. The novel’s attention to the earth beneath its characters gives it both a literal and metaphorical depth, and the characters themselves, especially the Singh family, are unforgettable–funny, smart, reflective, and brave. Above all, Chadha’s prose is equally gorgeous and precise, and always full of energy and movement."
"A luminous and sophisticated novel, Balance of Fragile Things offers a compelling view into modern family life with all its complications, secrets, and unbreakable bonds. Olivia Chadha’s elegant prose and deft cultural insight have created an indelible portrait of the world we live in now."
"Here is a new voice in American literature worth celebrating. Olivia Chadha is a young writer whose first novel, Balance of Fragile Things, deserves our immediate attention. Her talent is evident on every page."
"Balance of Fragile Things is the story of a mixed Indian and Latvian family learning to come together in difficult times, while they unravel a potentially devastating environmental mystery…The book is a love letter to families and a celebration of their inevitable complications and their resiliency. It also offers a strong environmental message, combining scientific discussions of far-reaching ecological abuses and poetic descriptions of butterflies and their habitat. "