Skip to main content

A Change of Heart - Sonali Dev

‘A Change of Heart’ – I instantly made a judgement that this book was perhaps a romantic novel by an Indian author. And yes, I realised I was completely wrong as soon as I read the synopsis.

The synopsis of the book gave me an indication of it being a semi-thriller and to the delight of my Desi soul, it also appeared to have all the elements of a Bollywood movie – Two lead characters with difficult pasts, Mumbai’s underworld and an organ donation scandal! I hoped that the book would be fast paced and to be fair, I wasn’t entirely disappointed.

Dr Nic Joshi is our main protagonist who at the beginning of the book is an alcoholic doctor aboard a cruise ship. He is grieving the loss of his wife and their unborn child when in a drunken stupor he comes across a lady who eerily resembles his wife. This is Jess Koirala a member of the cruise ship’s dance troupe who claims that she has had a heart transplant and the heart is none other than Nic’s wife’s, Jen’s ! Together Nic and Jess try and unravel an organ donation scandal that Jen was embroiled in before her death.

The author has paid a lot of attention to the developing relationship between Nic and Jess and it’s not your clichéd love at first sight storyline. The emotions that are drawn out by the author are very realistic and for that Dev must be given full credit. The other characters in the book including the underworld don Asif, police inspector Rahul, the Home Minister on one side and Dr Nic’s and Jess’s families on the other provide the story with a fair amount of drama and excitement.

Although I enjoyed the book, I have to say that I felt a tad let down by the climax. I say this because the build up of the entire plot was very engaging. Dev’s writing is bold with liberal use of profanity. However, this doesn’t come across as obnoxious or vulgar because of the manner in which the writing is used to describe the state of mind of the characters. Otherwise, her words flow steadily and there was one paragraph in the book about dance that will remain with me “Most people didn’t realise that dance was as much about the stillness between movement as it was about movement itself. It was about holding your body exactly the way it needed to be held to tell a story. Just like in life, it was the stillness that made all the motion more meaningful”.

Overall, an engaging book and one of the first I’ve read belonging to this particular genre within the scope of South Asian fiction.


Popular posts from this blog

Sab Moha Maya Hai - For The Sake of Valentine's Day!

14th February, Valentine’s Day. A day we are told we must “celebrate” as it epitomises this wonderful emotion that we as humans are capable of – Love.

“So, what are your plans for the day?” I was asked this question about a million times today and all I said was “Oh! I don’t know, I’m very unromantic!” to which I got responses like “But it’s the day of love” or “Come on! you need to celebrate love!” and so on. Having reflected upon this small talk that people often engage in to ease the awkward silences, I felt the need to put my thoughts to paper about the difference between romance and love as I find the two are often confused- one for the other. Romance is an expression of love, not love itself. Love is when you consistently strive for the wellbeing of another despite it causing you discomfort or pain. It is unconditional, not based on trivialities like tokens of affection which have sadly come to become measures of the extent of love. If you buy me a cake, you love me 30%, a design…

Flesh and Bone and Water - Luiza Sauma

I was delighted to receive this book for review from Penguin UK. Having grown up with memories of the Penguin logo in almost every bookshop I visited, it felt wonderful to be recognised as a reviewer by this world renowned publishing house. 'Flesh and Bone and Water' has nothing to do with South Asia. However, the commonality it shares with the region is that it is set in Brazil, a place that is often referred to as also being part of the 'third world' group of nations. "It's easy to leave a place when you're young. Coming back is harder. That's my advice : stay where you are." And so begins this beautiful novel which I would term as part coming of age and part an immigrant's journey from Brazil to Londres (London). More importantly why does the protagonist Andre venture back on a journey to his childhood home? The author Luiza Sauma has very poignantly narrated the story in first person so it feels like Andre is telling you his own story. You…

Serving Crazy With Curry - Amulya Malladi

Food! - That wonderful part of our existence that not only plays the essential role of providing daily sustenance but is also an archetype of culture and tradition. For me, food is a meaningful catalyst to creating unforgettable memories and associations. There are certain foods that I associate with certain events or significant people in my life. I also seek comfort in food be it a hot bowl of dal rice after a hard day at work or a sneaky piece of chocolate as a reward for achieving something (Yes, I do apply the principles of behavioural psychology to my own life!)
I first came across Amulya Malladi’s books in London’s local libraries. I was impressed that her books are well stocked which is an indication of their popularity. I read a couple of these books and soon found out the reason for this. Two words – Writing and Characters! Her writing is immensely engaging and her characters threaten to come alive page by page. This certainly applies to ‘Serving Crazy with Curry’.
Devi, our …