It took me a while to think of how to write this review because when I first finished reading it I gave it a rating of 4 out 5 but after some contemplation and retrospection, I decided it did not deserve such a high rating from me not when the book has such obvious problems.
The first glaring problem is that it seems the books’ plot can’t seem to decide what genre it wants to be and this makes the overall plot seem to be haphazardly put together. At first, it seems like a contemporary fiction where East meets West but then suddenly we get a romance which is obviously a chick-lit genre which suddenly has an intrusion of erotica and then a murder mystery plot going on.
It’s not a problem if a book wants to be everything all at once the problem comes when it’s trying to be everything all at once yet failing to be anything at all.
Another thing I came to dislike after listening to hours of this audiobook was how much erotica there was which made me feel I was duped into being interested in this book. I had anticipated that I would be reading a bit of erotica but mostly focusing on these Punjabi widows’ lives and how they are treated in their community and how it differs from how they actually are.
The pacing of the plot was also very off for me. It felt very rushed and didn’t have one true focus in mind as well as in my opinion having minor plot holes. For example, Nikki said she would help contribute financially to her family yet towards the end she decided to go back to uni and does not seem to have any job thus wouldn’t that put more of a financial strain on herself and her family? And why was it not shown in the book that she and Jason were falling in love, to me they just seemed to have a jolly good time and suddenly you are telling me Jason is already in love and finding ways to declare said love to Nikki when they just got together. What is up with this “brotherhood” sub-plot anyway, they were written to be some sort of extreme antagonist yet nothing of substance actually happened or was shown to happen and towards the end all ends that ends well? What? So, did the women actually learn to read and write at all in these classes? If not then wouldn’t what they are doing now is basically just an eroticized gossip?
I gave this book a 3 rating because of the potential that I read/listened to in the plot, I just wished it was executed well.
Basically, I’d give this a read if you want to read something raunchy written by a POC author and told by a POC character but if you want to read this book to know more about the lives of Indian immigrants in England and how female liberation will enhance their lives then give this book a pass, it ain’t it fam.