Title: The Windfall
Author: Diksha Basu
Genre: contemporary fiction, cultural
Is this book part of a series? No.
Published June 27th, 2017
I was given an eARC of this book from First To Read in exchange for an honest review. My thanks.
What is it like to be noveu rich in modern India? One family finds out first hand when Mr. Jha makes the business deal of a life time. No more cramped spaces and gossipy neighbors, no more cutting corners and worrying about money. Mr. Jha is ready to live the good life- better house, good car, the works. Mrs. Jha is more subdued, liking her life but also hoping for some nice things- a better kitchen, help, and a better life for their son Rupak. Rupak, for himself, is enjoying his new life as a business student in America with money to spend a bit too much. He’s having so much fun he isn’t passing!
As we watch the family move through the ins and outs of socials casts here, you learn a lot about India and about each character’s dreams and ambitions. How much is too much? How far must one go to “keep up” with the neighbors? This is a light weight social satire about the precarious balance of social status and being true to yourself.
Personally, while I felt like the writing was a bit choppy in parts, I loved this book. I enjoyed that I got to see several points of view- all the Jhas and some neighbors. I feel like that added something really great to the story. While Mr. Jha could have turned into a caricature a few times, we stayed clear of that to my mind. Yes, he feels in competition with everyone to prove that he’s made it- that he’s won, but he has his reasons. He wants more for his family, he wants that respect, and it slays him that his mother never saw him succeed like this. There is a sweetness and love behind the mania that made me love him even as he went to extreme lengths.
I feel that Rupak was very relatable, every kid let loose for the first time stretches their wings a bit… sometimes too far. This is the time where we learn who we are and what we really want, and yet deeply ingrained is the desire to also please our family. Even more so, it seems, in Indian culture. It was interesting to see him slowly devolve and then remake himself. For me, this was a five star book.
On the adult content scale, there is some sexual content, drug use and language. None are extreme, but be advised. I would still let my teen niece read this. I give it a four.
The book is out now! Have you read it?
Link to book: