I know, I know. I am late for the bandwagon, and have yet to see the film. This book was laying around, abandoned, in my break room for two weeks. After resisting its siren call, I finally did any book lover would do. I took it as a sign, and I stole it.
The book is told in three parts. The first part “Mumbai”, in my opinion, is the most compelling and emotional. I would recommend the book based on this section, alone. Morais really delves into the characters, and you care about them. His descriptions about Indian cooking really appeal to the senses.
The second section, “Lumiere” is about the protagonists time in France. I believe this is where the film version focuses its plot – contrasting the Indian and French cultures and attitudes. Here the story was more plot driven.
The third section is “Paris,” and this is where the novel fell short for me. Suddenly, all of the characters you built relationships with fade to the background, and the reader is asked to care about characters you haven’t had the time to know. Morais is a strong writer, but I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit clumsy, plot-wise.
Despite the out-of-balance feeling, I really enjoyed the book overall. It was quick and easy to read, pleasant and gave me a new perspective that I had not had before. It was definitely worth a break-room theft. (Don’t worry, I’ll return it back by the microwave on Monday).