Book Review: The Windfall by Diksha Basu

It’s always fun to read books written by Indian authors especially when they are so rarely available in libraries here. I was intrigued by this one because it seemed to be getting some great reviews from western readers.

The plot revolves around the Jha family who get an unexpected windfall and decide to move to a rich neighborhood in Gurgaon from their housing complex in East Delhi where everybody knows everyone’s business. What follows is Mr.Jha’s persistent attempts to match up to his new neighbor Mr. Chopra – always comparing each other’s cars, wondering if not hiring a guard would make him seem not rich enough, even talking bad about his son to Mr. Chopra to prove that he has enough money to take care of his so-called good for nothing progeny. Amidst all this, Mrs. Jha is trying to adjust to the drastic change in her lifestyle, is even skeptical of some of her husband’s antics but not enough to confront him. On the other hand, their son who is studying MBA in the US can’t admit that he is in love with an American or that he is failing in class. There is also a little subplot about Mrs. Ray who is a young widowed neighbor and friend of Mrs. Jha from East Delhi.

The book is well written, the situations that Mr. Jha gets himself into are quite hysterical and I really wanted to read till the end. But I didn’t find anyone in the Jha family very likable and sometimes, quite pathetic. The only saving grace was Mrs. Ray, whose loneliness is well captured and her finding love again puts a smile on the reader’s face. Thankfully, the ending was a little hopeful and it seemed that the Jhas would be okay after all.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

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