Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Book Review : Love Trumps All!




ABOUT THE BOOK

"Love Trumps All!’ is a work of fiction that takes the reader, along with its protagonists, on a journey that waves of Indian immigrants have made to the US and back, and many American businessmen have made to India in search of cheap labor since the Y2K phenomenon. It is an illuminating interwoven story of five unlikely friends in a global setting across Silicon Valley, Manhattan, Mumbai, Pune, Khamgaon (representative of small-town India full of youth with stars-and-stripes in their eyes!), Hyderabad and Nepal, as they explore their liberal progressive identities in a world powered by immigration and divided by nationality, religion, and politics. 

A story that spans the Y2K opportunities of 1990s to the current backdrop of US 2016 presidential election. With rising nationalism and protectionism, uncertainties and anxieties that immigrants to the US face, the story takes on a particularly poignant hue. Universally recognizable dilemmas of patriotism vs global citizen-hood, traditionalism vs modernity, alienation vs fitting-in make this story one that will be read with equal interest and identification by readers in the US as well as in India. Life-changing events alter the perspectives of the Indian as well as American characters in the book, as their search for identity and the expansion of their horizons takes them half way around the world and back, in search of their true selves. 

Anant Joshi, a dreamer who chases the American dream during Y2K rush and leapfrogs from a small Indian town to set up one of the hottest and innovative Silicon Valley ventures. 

Chris O’Brian, an energetic and creative high-tech sales leader from New York who is driven by his passion for life, creativity and making it big. 

Sameera Qureshi, a young gynecologist from Hyderabad attending her medical residency in California and trying to find love and her true human identity. 

Amy Cohen, a lively, articulate, compassionate pediatrician who is ready to ride on larger than life waves. 

Madhura Sharma, journalist and social worker driven by her nationalistic ideals and drive to help others.

What happens when their paths intersect and blend?”

REVIEW 

This novel traces the life of a few friends-growing up, friendship, romance, tragedies, and so on. The book also has solid doses of the philosophical viewpoints, as they grapple with religion, opportunism, loss, honesty, parent-child conflict, love for the motherland and the lure of Amrika, american politics, etc.

“Love Trumps All” is a book which shows the real struggles of moving to a different environment and adapting to it. People born in one country, travelling to other for work and then facing the dilemma of where to settle is a very common thing these days. The topic is relevant for every non resident Indian.

It offers the journey of each character in their respective point of views, set non-chronologically and the author has portrayed each one of their views in beautiful words. The bond of friendship between the protagonists is very heartwarming and it shows that with the love and support from friends and family, no hardship of life is difficult to conquer.

Beautifully integrated backstories (some tragic) of these 5 characters that bring forth the cultural and emotional aspects of relationships. Every reader can relate to at least one character in the book. Experiences of small town India and US were eye opening. It is a romantic novel at heart with many other facets - relationships with parents, friends, teachers, career aspects, cultural differences, finally proving that people everywhere are basically the same - country, religion, caste etc are just the ways we qualify them.

'Love Trumps All' is a wonderful read with witty life experiences and lessons you will forever cherish in your heart. Each character is distinct. The author has done a splendid job of initiating each of these story lines, embellishing them with interesting real life situations and then taking them to a logical conclusion.

This book summarizes the various aspects of life from dreams to passion, Ind-USA-Ind, Business trips to start-ups, individual values to families bonding, US elections to philanthropic, etc.

VERDICT - A highly recommended book for everyone interested in knowing not only about life in India and USA but also about human psyche, diverse religious beliefs.

The title "Love Trumps All" sums up the storyline perfectly! Excellent job Sudarshan - could not believe this was your 1st book. Please keep writing! 

RATING -5/5

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