Indian Dreams

Title: The Sari Shop Widow
Author: Shobhan Bantwal
Genre: Fiction, romance
Source: public library

How much do I love that the author labels this book ~ "Bollywood in a book!" I have a deep seated obsession with India, belly dance, Bollywood style dance and movies.....pretty much anything that gives me an insight to that exotic locale.

Summary from publisher:
Since becoming a widow at age twenty-seven, Anjali Kapadia has devoted herself to transforming her parents' sari shop into a chic boutique, brimming with exquisite jewelry and clothing. Now, ten years later, it stands out like a proud maharani amid Edison’s bustling Little India. But when Anjali learns the shop is on the brink of bankruptcy, she feels her world unraveling…
To the rescue comes Anjali’s wealthy, dictatorial Uncle Jeevan and his business partner, Rishi Shah—a mysterious Londoner, complete with British accent, cool gray eyes, and skin so fair it makes it hard to believe he’s Indian. Rishi’s cool, foreign demeanor triggers distrust in Anjali and her mother. But for Anjali, he also stirs something else, a powerful attraction she hasn’t felt in a decade. And the feeling is mutual…
Love disappointed Anjali once before and she’s vowed to live without it—though Rishi is slowly melting her resolve and, as the shop regains its footing, gaining her trust. But when a secret from Rishi’s past is revealed, Anjali must turn to her family and her strong cultural upbringing to guide her in finding the truth…

What I like:
1. The contrast between the older, more traditional Indian, family members and the younger Americanized members is interesting and gives a unique view into a culture I don't know.

2. It's a light, fast read with just enough romance to give warm fuzzies.

3. I now want to go looking for a shop like the one in the book. I would have loved to have a local one while I was belly dancing.

What I don't like:
1. At times the problems between the characters feel contrived. Having not read any other of Bantwal's novels, it is almost as if she was following a formula that said there have to be this type of problem. However, this is a very small problem and barely detracts from the warm fuzzies.


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