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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Saturday, 5 January 2008

This didn't work for me

Just finished reading Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki but while it appears to have enjoyed rave reviews elsewhere and was even shortlisted for the Orange Book Award for New Writers in 2007, I could barely stomach it.

This novel with all its melodrama and sensational scenes, did indeed leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

There was too much happening with young couples, middle-aged spouses and mismatched lovers; all rolled into one, that it felt a bit like teenage fiction...a bit Nisha Minhas-ish. The drama was clever, the initial comedy sparkled but the foregoing conclusions - the overly-neat tidying up of the plot, I regarded as silly and an insult to the imagination...in other words, what to the suspicious eye; would simply hint at the vague feeling of a copycat version of a Bollywood movie script.

To top it all, the classic deathbed confession thrives with the exception that the patient lives to tell. And so all ride happily ever after into the sunset.

I felt that in the author's desire to strike a bold impression, the long-drawn list of characters ensured a shallow detailing of personality traits.

If you treasure a Bollywood flick or the idyllic endings of a chick-lit, say Nisha Minhas, then you'll purchase this without a second thought.

Farooki did however, garner an impressive review in The New York Times.

(You may click on the links above to find out more about the multi-cultural novel and author.)

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