I loved this story. It is told well and drew me in right from the beginning. My heart was really drawn into the individual lives and struggles of both Anil and Leena, both from family and cultural expectations and for what they each faced as they navigated their respective worlds and the disappointments and life changing challenges it brought them. When their lives intersected once again my emotions swung from one end to the other as years of family beliefs and misunderstandings and their consequences were slowly revealed. It was interesting to learn about the ancient "panchayat system" in India, a tradition of settling disputes within a community and the pressures that puts upon an individual person. Though I felt the ending wrapped up just a little too quickly with introduction of new characters without explanation of how they came into the story, I still gave this a top rating because of the emotional impact and sensitive story telling that drew me right in beginning to end. If you like emotional stories that deal with family, friendship and other cultures I highly recommend with a trigger warning for an instance of abuse and an instance of violent racism.
I rated this 10/10
Read Your Shelf Challenge Goal Met: a story set in a country other than your own.
Book Purchased in 2019 - 2021