Review: The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani

One of the things that caught my eye with this book was the beautiful cover. I love the white flower against the red backdrop and the little gold/yellow details and accents.

I also loved that this book was set in India. There is something about India that seems so beautiful and exotic and I just loved that this book was going to incorporate that rich culture.

The summary sounded interesting but it was really the promise of something new and different culturally, that drew me into this story.

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past.

Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation. Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible (summary from Goodreads).

Straight out of the gate, this book was impressive. I absolutely loved the how the author incorporated the Indian culture into the book. The setting was gorgeous and I was completely hooked on this book from the first few chapters.

I also loved the tone of this book. It packed an emotional punch but for me it wasn’t overboard. There are some themes like miscarriages that might be a trigger for some readers but on the whole I think that the author was sensitive to those readers and tried to create an emotional book without it being depressing and upsetting. On the contrary this book was about love and self discovery (this is definitely a journey type of book) and I thought it was beautifully executed.

I enjoyed getting to know Jaya and her story/journey. As I get older, I have a greater appreciation for women who have struggles and a ‘mid life crisis’ or sorts happening in their lives. Once you hit thirty, choices take on new meaning if you ask me.

People in their twenties are supposed to screw up and make bad choices but people in their thirties are supposed to have life figured out, or so my mother tells me. So reading books about women who are suddenly coming to terms with struggles or choices in their lives really stand out to me.

While this was an excellent book with a stunning cultural aspect and setting, I felt the ending was a little rushed and a bit of a reach in terms of reality. However, I still felt satisfied with the ending and was happy with how things resolved, but I think I might have gone in a bit of a different direction.

On the whole this was a 4.5 star review for me. It was excellently written and had interesting content, setting, and characters. I loved the cultural component and getting to a glimpse into Indian culture, families, and traditions. A lovely read.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani 

  • Kindle Edition, 370 pages
    Published September 1st 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
    ASIN B07415PPP1
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
  • Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5
  • Genre: women’s fiction, contempo lit
  • Memorable lines/quotes: 

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