Author: Diksha Basu
Publisher/Publication Date: Crown Publishing Group; June 27, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source/Format: First to Read; eARC
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
A heartfelt comedy of manners for readers of Seating Arrangements and Crazy Rich Asians, Diksha Basu's debut novel unfolds the story of a family discovering what it means to be nouveau riche in modern India...
For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all. The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters.
Hilarious and wise, The Windfall illuminates with warmth and charm the precariousness of social status, the fragility of pride, and, above all, the human drive to build and share a home. Even the rich, it turns out, need to belong somewhere...
I have read exactly two books this year that were named windfall and both of them have been great. The latest one is The Windfall by Diksha Basu, which was just one of those books that I happen to find incredibly enjoyable. It focused on the everyday lives of the characters and how a stroke of good luck can affect one family and potentially those around them in ways perceived to be both negative and good. And guys, this book was a whole lot of fun.
Given the title of this book, I knew that a large sum of money—or some other good luck—would be involved even before I read the synopsis. From the start, I had moderately high hopes for this story and wasn’t disappointed. Truly, the characters were kind of awesome, especially the Jha family and their close-knit group of friends. The Jha family was delightful to read about. I felt like Basu approached the worries felt by the characters in a realistic way that was thoroughly engrossing. I think that was my favorite part of The Windfall: how the unexpected good fortune wasn’t just something that was superficially added as an afterthought, but affected the characters in good, bad, and emotional ways.
Point blank: the story was just a good one. There was something so simple and refreshing about The Windfall and how it explored the complexities of life, love, family, and change. I was thoroughly impressed by this book. Now, I’ll just sit over here and patiently wait for Basu’s next novel.
Disclaimer: copy of the book was provided by First to Read (Publisher) for this review, thank you!
About the author...
Diksha Basu is a writer and occasional actor. Originally from New Delhi, India, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and now divides her time between New York City and Mumbai...