Author: Diksha Basu
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Goodreads Synopsis: For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all. The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters.
There was so much that caught my attention when first picking up this novel and a lot of it had to do with the changes in surroundings, the way someone’s life can be turned upside down even when everything seems like it’s going towards a much better outcome. It is a story that leads us through all of that from many different point of views, which is always nice to get to see.
“He was fifty-two years old, his wife was forty-nine, and their twenty-three-year-old son was in business school in America. The move was going to be seen as an unnecessary display of his newly acquired wealth. And since the money had come from the onetime sale of a website, everyone in Mayur Palli treated it with suspicion. Nobody believed it was hard-earned money. ‘A lucky windfall,’ he had heard Mr. Gupta call it.”
I really enjoyed this novel and everything it represented. All the characters fit perfectly into this read and I was able to move along it pretty quickly. It brings those questions up to light as to how it would affect ones life if they were placed in that situation, having to leave a place you’ve known for so long, people that have been around you through it all. Not only that, but what kind of a person one would become in a situation like that.
There was so much that went on in this novel, from Mr. Jha trying to fit in to a new lifestyle at all costs, while his wife tries in her own way to adjust to the idea of a life in wealth. Even though there were some things that set me off from these character’s, it was all part of what made them who they were and why their internal struggle with their new surroundings affected them so much more. This included their son Rupak, with all he had going on also and his adjustment into a completely different home from the one he knew or would be coming back to.
“It was all his own fault, Rupak knew. He got to America soon after his parents became wealthy, and he immediately fell in love–not with Elizabeth, but with the whole country, and with the bank account that his father kept replenishing. He found himself falling into a version of what he thought life in America was meant to be.”
Much of what went on, their lives in India, the different things they had to go through like Mrs. Ray who was a widow and trying to live her life without being looked down upon, kept me reading. Rupak also began to mature as he kept going through all of those different things in life. What seemed to get to me a lot though is how I didn’t feel like Mr. Jha was trying to learn from his mistakes or finding a medium with his new life and his old one.
Even so, I read through this novel with ease. There were so many feels that I had, but the last part of this read had me wishing for a better ending. I know that much of it had to do with entering a new chapter in their life, that sadly would include having to compete with a “I have more than you” mentality. I understood though, why it had to be done that way and the sad truth that is part of the real world we live in. Still, I was hoping for a different outcome.
***I received this copy from Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***