May 2024
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Review: Bitter Sweets, Roopa Farooki

This multi-generational saga starts out with Henna, who is perfectly happy to spin a complex network of lies if it means she can get out of school and make a brilliant marriage at 14.  Even though her in-laws find out and she is forgiven, the lying is compulsive and carries on throughout the family, until Henna’s daughter, Shona, living in London years later, is confronted with the many lies and truths that her life has been built upon and takes strides to rescue her family from the webs they have woven.

Bitter Sweets did not start out very promising.  I found it hard to relate to Henna, who was so glib and dispassionate about everything in her family and found lying so easy.  When, eventually, Shona became the center of the book, I liked it much better, and around the halfway point I fell in love.  Each of the characters is so sympathetic, so human, and has their own struggles and passionate feelings.  It was easy to relate to these people and watch their characters develop.  I particularly enjoyed the literary parts revolving around Shona.  I was compelled to keep reading and I wanted them all to be happy.  And I enjoyed the ending, too.

Another recommendation from me.  This is a good read.  Probably forgettable, but worth the time I spent reading it.  Check it out on Amazon.


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