Maxine is Gogol’s second girlfriend and the first woman Gogol dates as an adult living in New York. Gogol and Maxine meet at a party and begin to develop a relationship thanks to Maxine’s forward and bold nature. Maxine lives with her wealthy parents in a beautiful New York apartment, which Gogol visits on their first date. Maxine serves as a contrast to Gogol in several ways. In terms of personality, Maxine possesses many traits Gogol wishes he possessed. Maxine is outgoing, brave, and adventurous, whereas Gogol is timid, content, and uninspired. Additionally, Maxine’s family life fits Gogol’s ideal image of family. Maxine’s family provides stability and luxury, whereas Gogol’s family represents frequent change. Maxine and her family also serve as a portrait of what it means to be American, which Gogol has been seeking for the majority of the novel. 

Gogol’s family is naturally distrusting of Maxine. This is evident by their lack of interest upon meeting her and the fact that Maxine is not invited on their trip to India after the death of Ashoke. Gogol and Maxine’s relationship ends not long after his father’s death. Gogol’s familial obligations increase drastically after the loss, and he is constantly pulled back into the orbit of his mother and sister. These obligations, in tandem with Gogol’s family’s obvious lack of care for Maxine, cause a rift in the couple’s relationship that is too large to mend.