Either she is writing recipes or essays or short stories or food-related articles, Monica Bhide is more than a juggler with words. She shares experiences, her love for food and stories aimed to inspire. You just cannot remain indifferent.
What I find even more beautiful, is that from a book to another - she already published seven books, and counting - her writing is becoming more refine and explore different sensibilities and literary depths. I have the honour and priviledge of being part of her group of first hand reader of her books and every time I receive some new project for her, I can nothing but expect some new source of literary joys.
Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken is her first novel telling the moving story of the orphan Eshaan trying his luck at a popular cooking TV competition. Admirably, the author avoid to fall into the trap of a stereotypical Bollywood-like stories - nothing wrong with Bollywood, but stereotypes in novels are not a sign of talent - and creates a page-turning story where emotions abund and with every twist of the story you feel the need to just jump in the story and start changing something. Human emotions are healthy, and I felt myself part of every suspenseful episode of the story, following Eshaan not only when cooking mouth-watering recipes, but also when he has to take decisions or to avoid taking one because he would like to avoid affecting negatively other people's destinties.
But even more beautiful than the story in itself are the crystal shaped words of the poetry that Monica wisely chosed to accompany the prose. It magnifies Eshaan's personality and creates even stronger literary effects. The recipes bring elegantly the reader to the reality of senses. A book that makes you hungry, cry and hopeful and that deserves a continuation, because the character are so well profiled that you start by missing them once the book is finished.
A special note to the cover by Simi Jois that found the perfect visual expression for the novel.
I recommend this book to anyone looking to read quality writing that cannot leave you indifferent.
Rating: 5 stars
Disclaimer: Book offered by the author in exchange of an honest review