THIS IS an interesting story by Tishani Doshi about a woman’s journey of self-discovery when she returns home after her mother’s death and discovers a family secret that changes her life forever.
Grace, our protagonist and narrator, is half-Italian, half-Indian.
Growing up in a household with very passionate parents who fought as loudly as they loved, Grace essentially left her old life behind after marrying her American husband Blake.
Years later, with her marriage on the rocks and her career going nowhere, Grace is suddenly called back to her hometown in Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry, when her mother dies.
While taking care of the cremation arrangements, she meets her mother’s best friend and discovers that her mother has been keeping a secret from her.
Turns out she has a sister named Lucia whom she never knew of, who has been living in a home for people with special needs. Lucia has Down’s syndrome, and needs constant care.
Grace also inherits a pink house by the beach that many would like to get their hands on.
How Grace wraps her head around her new life, her new role as a somewhat parent (a complicated issue since she never wanted children to begin with), and finds her own place in this mad new world makes up for the rest of the book.
Some of Grace’s observations and recollections will make you laugh, as there are so many colourful over-the-top characters in her life.
It is not all laughter, as there are some dramatic and tense moments too.
Essentially it is a story of a woman who has to undergo so many new experiences, and face so many truths in order to find her true self.
In that aspect, Grace is someone we can all relate, to even if our journey through life is not as complicated as hers.