THE NAANI DIARIES by RIVA RAZDAN is an unputdownable engrossing read, in plain simple words.
It is a fast-paced piece of writing that touches upon many genres and subgenres associated with romance, heartbreak, familial bonds, and Indian weddings. Despite that, the book miraculously holds its ground on each front. And that too very strongly.
The protagonist of the story is an independent, ambitious young Indian woman Radhika, based in New York. When a relationship goes sour unexpectedly, she finds herself in the throes of a turbulent breakup. And thus, her lovelorn soul begins searching for a perfect life partner and convinces herself to shift base from New York to India, where her grandmother lives.
The book primarily revolves around her struggle with the idea of love, the edifice of which has been laid by a few incomplete pages of an old Diary of her grandmother.
Will a woman as capable and powerful as her, be able to find herself a perfect match in the Great Indian Marriage Market? Or will she have to compromise contrary to her professional life? If and when she does find her prince charming, will this groom hunting be worth her time, effort, and more importantly her emotions? Can you find love if you search for it?
Those are some of the few questions the book seeks to address or at least that is what it did, in my opinion.
What stood out for me most is how powerfully all the characters have been drafted. There aren’t any fillers or extras. Every character has an important role to play. They all come together and grow together beautifully. Especially Gayatri, a robust character that will make you feel proud to be a woman. The protagonist herself makes you frown in many places because of the way she handles her situations but that also makes her character more relatable. As if she is like one of us. Brownie points out for creating men like Birdy.
Another interesting aspect is the build-up of the romance in the book. It is top-notch and makes you smile sheepishly in several places. The author has managed to create several VOW moments where you might find yourself swooning and cringing for more of these moments.
The author deserves to be lauded for creating parallel plots masterfully. And also, for not going in for a cliched sort of ending. It is not perfect, but it does leave you smiling in anticipation.
The writing style is crisp, naturally funny, and sometimes outright hilarious. You feel bored at no point or get the feeling of just sifting through the pages. With lots of ingenious conversations and witty jibes at The Big Fat Indian Wedding, the book makes for a light-hearted, delightful read.
All said and done, THE NAANI DIARIES by Riva Razdan is indeed a riveting read! It would adapt very well on screen as well.
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