Happy New Year!
First post of this year, and it is a book review! I am doing this unbiased review for a book tour at b00k r3vi3w. As many of you know, I was on a vacation and I had grabbed this book along with me, so that I could read it and be ready to review. However, all through my vacation I couldn’t find time to read it fully, and I as usual ended up reading it at one go.
My first thought when I received this book was, “Huh, I am not a chick-lit fan!” It is not that I have never read a chick-lit, but whatever I read on that genre is less than the number of fingers on my hands. This tiny little girl in me screamed to read this book, thanks to the fascinating cover design. I love covers with shoes, I guess. Just like the protagonist of this story, I am obsessed with shoes too. Reading the back cover, I sensed that this story is gonna be about a late twenties Cindrella finding her prince Charming, after dating a frog for few years.
Well, I was wrong!
It is more than just a romance, and trust me, this story is not a fairytale romance.About the book:Ayra always wanted to be an Art Historian. She saw herself flitting between galleries, talking Michelangelo and Dali with glamorous ease. At twenty–nine, life has decided to make her an underpaid investment banker juggling an eccentric family, a fading career and a long–distance relationship that is becoming a light-year one. On a monsoon day in June, she is suddenly sent packing from Mumbai to Tuscany to buy a vineyard for a star client. What should have been a four day trip turns into a two week treasure hunt that finds her in the middle of midnight wine deals, dodgy vintners, rolling Tuscan hills, a soap opera family and one playboy millionaire who is looking to taste more than just the wine. Towards the end she finds that the road to true happiness is almost as elusive as that perfect glass of Chianti. Before you read the review, try checking out the book available for deals here:
Well, first things first, I love the name Ayra. Whatever it means, it is indeed brilliant. Her characterization is so realistic that I could see one of my best friends in the way she was portrayed. A typical south-born-confused-northie, Ayra is dating the guy-next-door Karthik (Cliche #1). Ayra loves art and shoes; anyone asking me what is the connection between those two are surely not close to me because I too love art and shoes and that’s all the relation I know. Well, if one might thing that I am ranting over Ayra, wait let me rant about the secondary characters like Ayra’s best friend Narina, which I kept reading as Narnia, just like how I was reading Ayra as Arya; her boyfriend/fiancee Karthik, the boy every mom will love (Read: DDLJ SRK), her boss Sandeep, the boss who I wonder is a friend or her enemy and then I coin that he is her frenemy; her father, who is too lovable to be real (Cliche #2); and most importantly her cute pets. For once the south Indian family of her was not stereotyped like how it usually is, instead the description of family and the customs were said in a subtle and realistic way.
Now, let’s get into something that really caught my eye: the vineyards. Although, I should accept that the vineyard descriptions were kind of boring initially, as the descriptions of the vineyards they visit and the wine-making techniques was elaborated, I got curious. This book can be a mini travelogue if you wanna visit those vineyards. This is the point where the chick-lit turned into a full-fledged, informative novel.
About the Author:
After finishing her A Levels at Bridgine School, Windsor, and getting a BA (Hons) at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, Reshma started her career as a Journalist for India’s national newspaper The Hindu, Business Line but left mid-career to pursue an MBA at the Indian School of Business that led to a successful career in Investment Banking. After 5 years in Investment Banking she quit her job to travel for two years and visited Europe, China, and the US. She conceptualized the novel during her travels through the Tuscany wine country. She created the eccentric Ms Krishnamurthy, her precocious cat and her dog eat deal environment. Her deep appreciation for the south Indian family dynamic, experience as a freelance journalist and a passion for Italian wine helped create Fade Into Red. Simultaneously she also honed her skills as a Travel Writer and has contributed to India Today Travel Plus, SilverKris, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia, National Geographic Traveller and The Hindu Business Line. She is also co-founder of the literary blog, The Caterpillar Café.
If you thought all was well till now, and there is nothing interesting than the vineyards, wait till I reveal a little bit of spoiler (I hate to do this, but yeah, I have to). Ishaan, the ‘other’ guy, who Ayra (in fact, me too) kind of fell for. So, that makes it a love triangle? Well, not really, Ishaan is Ayra’s crush or may be a little more. And does he reciprocate her feelings? Read the book, guys, don’t expect me to narrate it 😛 Also, did I mention? Ayra’s wedding was being planned with Karthik back home while she was ogling at Ishaan in the vineyards! Booh, that makes it a crazy roller coaster for the romantic novel fanatics.
1. Author’s non-stereotypical, pretentious narration.
2. The extensive research about vineyards and the information provided.
3. The interesting plot, that is often not provided in chick lit.
1. Places at which narration dragged me down a bit.
Bottom line: A chick lit like book with a lots more than just romance.
My verdict: An interesting romantic travelogue sprinkled with elements of chick lit.
Do I recommend? If Wines and Romance fantasize you, then do grab this book with a glass of wine or two. Trust me, you will analyze the wine at the end of this book.
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