By: Eastern Eye
TALENTED Canadian author Sonya Lalli has shown that she can write strong female characters, which includes the people in her excellent third novel Serena Singh Flips The Script.
For her recently released fourth novel, A Holly Jolly Diwali, she once again offers a strong-minded south Asian female protagonist, who goes on an interesting journey of self-discovery.
After reaching a major crossroads in her life, uptight Seattle-based Nikki travels to Mumbai for her friend’s wedding. Once there, she is swept off her feet by a man from London, whom she has an instant connection with, which grows further as they spend more time together in India.
But can the perfect holiday romance survive a long distance when they both return to their respective countries?
Like her previous books, the latest offering from the talented author is a lightweight read with relatable characters, who have universal human emotions and go looking for the kind of happiness that most seek. The settings are well described and there is a nice escapism in this free-flowing story.
There is a strong fish-out-of-water element with the central character and comical scenes that will make you laugh. But although the book does have its heart in the right place, it misses a lot of opportunities to add depth. The romance could have been deeper, there could have been so much more drama, and the reader is left wanting to find out more about the male protagonist.
That doesn’t take away much for those who enjoy light-hearted rom-coms, and it is easy to see this book being made as a movie. There is a good exploration of human relationships, and the nice ending has a great message.
Overall, the charming novel is a lot better than the title suggests and well worth looking for. It will likely make you want to find other works by the author, who is getting better with each book.