The Sari Shop Widow
Kensington, Aug 25 2009, $15.00
Anjali Kapadia had once dreamed of raising children, but after a decade since she cremated Vikram, the Indian-American has little hope of a second marriage as she has not found anyone she wants to marry though she has a secret boyfriend she hides from her parents. Nearing forty with her biological clock winding down, she has all but given up on her dream. Everything else in her life is good as she and her parents Mohan and Usha run the Silk and Sapphires upscale boutique in the Little India neighborhood of Edison, New Jersey where she designs clothing.
However, Anjali is ignorant of the fact that the shop is failing. Her desperate father Mohan asks his wealthy older brother for help. Anjali’s Uncle Jeevan-kaka has not been state side in five years, but comes from India to see what he can do to save the boutique. He is a benevolent dictator who drove Anjali and her mom crazy with his demands on his last visit. Jeevan arrives in New Jersey with his London-based business partner Rishi Shah, an expert on saving businesses buried in red ink. They plan to save the shop but also demand fifty-one percent ownership of the store. As Anjali and Rishi fall in love, she must decide can she trust him with her heart, her boutique, and her future when he already has a client girlfriend?
This is a super ethnic family drama from an author who consistently provides readers with great profound novels that give insight into the Indian especially the Indian-American Hindu culture (see THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER and THE DOWRY BRIDE). Once again the fully developed characters make for a strong deep look at Hindu life in central New Jersey with the romance augmenting the insightful look. Shobhan Bantwal's enjoyable novels are incredibly entertaining but also enlightening as the reader sips masala chai.