12 November 2014

Review #67: The Rummy Club by Anoop Ahuja Judge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Manoj Vaz, a young Indian author, has quoted remarkably about card games as:

“Life may not have dealt you a great set of cards... but who says the one with better cards will win?”

Anoop Ahuja Judge, an Indian origin American author's debut book, The Rummy Club is all about cards, friendships, hardships and clearly conveys the message that someone in possession of better cards will not necessarily win.

Five years ago Divya Kapoor moves from the immigrant ghetto of Queens to the SF Bay Area with her husband and children to start over. In this new place, she re-discovers her three closest friends from the girls’ boarding school they all attended in a Himalayan foothill town. The four women commit to meet weekly at one another’s homes to eat and share and gossip, and to play the popular Indian version of Rummy.

Now the friends’ lives are all in crisis. Brilliant Alka’s thwarted ambitions and her dissatisfying marriage have turned her into an obsessive Tiger Mother. Big-hearted Priya must face the truth about her collapsing marriage. Divya herself lies awake at night struggling with her envy of the comfortable stability her friends have already attained. And, in one unexpected moment, beautiful Mini suddenly becomes a widow.
When the worst befalls Alka’s son and Divya’s frustrations spill over into the Rummy game, their once dependable world is torn apart. Will Alka’s son make it? Will Alka and Divya repair their friendship? Will Priya’s fledgling business and her blossoming relationship with a Hispanic hunk survive? Will Mini marry a WASP? Will the four friends ever play Rummy together again?

The four once upon a time besties are all grown up now and are leading their own lives with their families and the author captures their journey from their boarding school in India through marriage and kids to their lives in the US. And the whole process of portraying their drastic transformation is very striking. With the author's careful and polished chosen words, makes the story groovier and a pleasurable read. What I liked the most was that the author has tried to instill that same old friendship among the four women over a game of rummy and delicious Indian food regardless of their own sufferings and grief. All the elements to make the plot an emotional roller-coaster ride was done successfully by the author. I felt every bit of their trauma and every bit of their happiness. Moreover, the east-west culture clash is very vivid in the author's story-telling. With her elegant prose, it becomes an easy read for us. The issues shown by the author in these four women's lives are not so surreal, in fact, it's quite believable from an Indian immigrant's POV. I liked the effort that the author has given to make her debut book such a compelling one.

Verdict: Don't miss this debut book of Anoop Ahuja, in which she will take you in a whirlwind of journey full of troubles and card games.

Courtesy: Thanks to Good Reads for once again choosing me as a First Reads Winner and a huge thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of her book. 

Author Info:
Anoop Ahuja Judge is an attorney whose first book Law; What It's All About and How to Get In was published by Twenty-Twenty Media in New Delhi, India as part of a series of Dummies-style books about different careers open to college grads.
She serves as Legal Advisor to Home of Hope, a non-profit based in the USA that supports more than 2000 destitute, orphaned, and otherwise disadvantaged children in India. Anoop has been featured in many Indian publications (India-West, India-Post, etc.) and has made several appearances on satellite television (TV Asia, Womennow, Sitaara TV) for her work with the organization.
She has lived in the San Francisco-Bay Area for the past 23 years.
She is married with two nearly grown and fully admirable children.

Visit her here 

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