India Was One by An Indian Review

indiaI’ve never read this kind of book before but  it is a wonderful and interesting read. It dips into the Indian culture and takes the readers on an emotional journey. It also gives readers knowledge of India’s politics and economy mixed in the romance story. It’s a great read and I recommend it to everyone.

Review by an Amazon Reader

Opening perfectly with a man’s dark walk to the place where he might see his wife, this novel captures the heart of a broken world with aching sensitivity, then backtracks to the more familiar realities leading up to it. When teachers tell how writers should “show” more and “tell” less, this author’s writing probably isn’t what they mean, but the mix of shown scenes and told detail works well to explain the background to Indian culture and events in earlier chapters(including cricket), almost like reading with the author there to explain.

Convincingly written with interesting explanation, beautiful scenery, delicious food and authentic dialog, the first third of this novel creates a fascinating picture of India. Then the action moves to the US. As an immigrant myself I smile at things Jai and Kaahi have to learn. Mr. Shah explains, “However, now that you are not in India, you’ll try to know more about India,” engendering that familiar feeling of displacement, while Arun adds, “Also, never ever refer to a cigarette as a fag.”

American, then European cultures are explained with the same sense of detail, simple maps clarifying direction and space. But the world changes as civil unrest hits India, the latter third of the novel echoing a short scene earlier where a Muslim Indian struggles to prove where his loyalties lie. What defines an Indian? What defines an American, or a European? Is it the food we eat, the sports we follow, the company we keep, or the feasts we celebrate? Or is there something in each heart beating a tune we can only hear only at home, wherever home might be?

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