ARC Review: Part Star Part Dust by L.M. Valiram

“Do you make your choices or do your choices make you?”

I was mesmerized by this book – that’s the only word I can use. It’s such a short novella but manages to touch your heart in a very unexpected way. The strength of the book is its prose – it’s lyrical and beautiful and so full of meaning that I had to reread certain lines to imbibe them better.

“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. And happiness depends on what you can give, not what you can get.”

As the premise suggests, this is the story of three people – a millionaire, a widow and a monk. Radha, an adopted child adored by her parents has everything that she could ask for but senses something missing and decides to seek out answers. Mira, married off to a stranger is happy in her motherhood and finds fulfillment in her son and his family even after she is widowed. But sudden changes force her to evaluate her purpose in life. Gaurav has grown up poor with dreams of a rich life that stares at him right across his window. He has known a great love and thinks he is content with it until he has to make a choice between his dreams and reality. How all their lives come together forms the rest of the story.

“Faith is to believe that you do not see so that you may come to see what you believe.”

I love the way the three characters are interwoven in each other’s lives. It’s so subtle that even the reader may miss it. The descriptions of Mumbai city, the traffic, the rains, the food are so vivid that I felt nostalgic and reminded of home. The book is full of wonderful philosophical words of wisdom, especially the letters of Babaji – touching upon life, death, happiness, destiny, karma and most importantly choices. That’s what this book is about. That’s also what makes this book so authentically Indian.

“We are alive only because we love. Even if we love nothing else, we love our own Life. And Love is that which keeps us alive. But loving only your own life is such a waste of love and of life.”

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

PS: I thank Cameron Publicity and Marketing and NetGalley for giving me an opportunity to review this amazing book.

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