Book Title: The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani
Category: Adult Fiction, 399 pages
Publisher: Lake Union
Release date: September 2018
Tour dates: June 3 to July 12, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are some non-explicit sex scenes)
An Amazon Charts, USA Today, and Washington Post bestseller!
From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.
Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation.
Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.
Oh my...it's been a while since I read a book that made me cry. Well, Sejal Badani succeeded in doing just that with The Storyteller's Secret. I enjoy books set in India and this one was quite atmospheric, taking me back to when India was under the British occupation. The story has a dual timeline, with Jaya who lives in present-day New York City and Amisha, her grandmother, who lived during the 1930s in a small village in India.
Jaya is experiencing grief after her third miscarriage and the painful separation from the husband she loves. She decides to travel to her grandmother's hometown after her mother receives a letter with the news that Jaya's grandfather is dying. Jaya has a strained relationship with her mother who refuses to go back to India. She doesn't understand her mother's closed personality and longs for a better connection with her. Once Jaya is in India, she meets Ravi, one of India's untouchables who had once been her grandmother's servant. Ravi is now an old man who slowly unravels the story of Jaya's grandmother and passes on her legacy.
I loved Amisha's story because she was a woman ahead of her time, struggling to explore her gift of writing at a time when women were considered inferior. This is a story about mother and daughter relationships, about the grief of miscarriage and how it affects couples, about searching for one's roots and heritage, about exploring one's culture, and about friendship and love.
If you love literary fiction or women's fiction with strong female characters, The Storyteller's Secret will take you to a small village in India where a woman tried to make a difference although stuck in tradition and her female role in a patriarchal society. I loved this book and was so overcome with emotion with that heartwrenching ending. I'll count this as one of my favorite reads of 2019. I am now a fan of Sejal Badani and have her first book Trail of Broken Wings on my TBR list.
Meet the Author:
A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time.
She is a USA Today, Washington Post & Amazon Charts bestselling author, Goodreads Fiction Award Finalist and ABC/DISNEY Writing Fellowship Finalist.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram