Book Review: India Was One

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India Was One by An Indian is a novel that is a bit hard to describe. The author who goes by An Indian was born in Mumbai, India and came to America in 1989. He has lived in New York and Los Angeles. I met the author on Goodreads and was offered a copy of the book in return for review.

The book is divided into roughly two sections. The first three quarters of the book is is the story of Jai and Kaahi, a young couple who met in college and marry. Jai comes from a well to do family in northern India. Kaahi from southern India. Jai will work at his family’s business interest in Los Angeles. This part of the book is a wonderful story and shares so much information about India, its regions, food, and experiences. It also shares the couples experiences on their initial trip to Los Angeles. The cultural information is great as well as how others see America. 

There is a particularly long topic of cricket and baseball through out the book. This provides another excellent cross culture examination. There is a melding of Indian traditions in Indian communities in America and the couple experiences in the Indian immigrant/resident alien community. The cultural lessons alone make this book worth reading.

The last quarter of the book let me down. My willing suspension of disbelief could not keep up with the events at hand. The author has a great idea, but it could not be believably done in the sixty or so pages of the book. I will leave that as it is and not give away the plot or climax.

If you would like to know more about India and its culture, this novel does an excellent job of explaining it as well as giving an immigrant’s view of America. The splitting of India could have been a novel in itself. It needed much more room to develop into a plausible story.

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