Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Sari Shop Widow by Shobhan Bantwal
I grew up in a large city where, on the river, Heritage Weekends were held during the summers. Each week a different nationality was featured with the various foods, dance, music of that heritage was enjoyed. The local university had an engineering school where many people from other lands came to get an education, so they could return home and make life better. I became enamored with all things Indian. I made friends with several folks from India, immediately loved wearing saris, and enjoyed so many new foods. When I saw Sari Shop Widow in the Kindle store under the Christian Romance tag, I just knew it was for me.

The main character is a young adult widow who lives with her parents who help her run her upscale sari boutique. As I am very traditional in my own worldview, I love the arrangement for her and for them.

When I’m reading, I’m usually looking for, first of all, a good story, then some heat between the characters and God’s influence on them.

I was not disappointed for the most part. The story has depth, I feel like I know the characters personally. She struggles with the future of her shop, honoring her parents, living her life in her way…..all the same struggles that most of us have. Her parents struggle with the same things that I struggle with as a parent of two beautiful daughters. I have the same intrusive family members that she has and struggle to put up with. The story was not predictable either, which I really appreciate. I mean, I can still enjoy a story even when I know what’s going to happen next, but it is way better when a surprise or two are thrown in there.
The ‘heat factor’ was certainly there! Ooh boy howdy. That’s all on that for now.
Here’s where the book let me down-through no fault of its own though. I love technology as much as the next 21st century gal but the Christian tag on this book was off. While there are many Christian Indians, this family was not. The ‘rich uncle’ did his rituals at 4am, which was humorous to be sure, but God had no influence on them. God’s name was vainly spoken a few times and one character used many expletives in his daily speech. I can only assume that because the word God was used in the book that the tag of ‘Christian’ was added.
Now, back to the ‘heat factor’… Because this is not a Christian book and most of America is promiscuous, I can’t fault the premarital sex from my personal worldview. I wouldn't have written premarital sex in. It's much hotter to see the struggle to abstain, than to see the characters give in.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book with the limitations noted above. If you can live with the language and the really spicy stuff, then by all means, you will love this book!

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