Publishing Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 432 pages
The Premise: The story takes place in 1974 in the town of Chance, Trinidad. It follows the small group of neighbours: farmers, seamstresses, gossipers but the central story line revolves around an eighteen year old named Vimla Narine. Vimla is at the top of her class and she has recently been offered a teaching post at a local school. Everything gets derailed however one night when Vimla is caught at night holding hands with Krishna Govind. Overnight things absolutely take a turn for the worse. Vimla's offer to the teaching post is rescinded and the Govinds are quickly looking for someone to marry their son off to. Vimla and her neighbour and friend Minty band together to try and find a way to stop Krishna from marrying Chalisa, while Krishna is simultaneously trying to find his way back to Vimla. The entire story unravels over how their relationship changes through these events.
"Krishna? Vimla Narine, what the ass make you think Krishna go marry you now?"
"He love me."
Chandani flinched. "It ain't have nothing like love here!" She gestured to the sunlit hallway. Vimla wasn't sure if her mother meant this house or Trinidad, but she didn't dare ask. "Your reputation ruined, girl. The Govind family ain't go want Krishna to marry you now."
Vimla stared, dumbstruck, at her mother, who sucked her teeth, stomped into her bedroom and slammed the door. (pg. 40-41)My overall thoughts and review: I just could not put this book down. I was in love with it from the very start. What Ramnanan does is weave many different perspectives into the story and you feel like you are getting a bit of everyone equally, although really, Vimla and Krishna are at the centre of it. The story is written phonetically and I really felt was if I was transported to Chance, Trinidad. The dialogue bits were my favorite because of that, but even if some sections were heavy on the dialogue, Ramnanan somehow is able to build the world so wonderfully. Just the overall structure of the book and how everything unfolds between the Govinds and Narines was so incredibly fascinating. I found myself laughing a lot because of the silliness from some characters and I also found myself getting incredibly frustrated at some characters like Sangita, but that just goes to show just how well written this book is! There is a bit of every character and every character is so well-rounded. This is a wonderful story and the title is just perfect, because there's nothing like love. Love is not perfect, love is complicated and this story depicts not only romantic love, but love in friendships (Vimla & Minty // Krishna & Dutchie), love in family (Vimla and her parents, Krishna and his parents and Krishna and his aunt), love in neighbors (even when they don't deserve it), and also, finding love again (Sangita and Rajesh). This was an incredibly fun, laugh out loud, charming book. I just loved it and I would highly recommend it to those looking for a fun read this summer. This is Ramnanan's debut novel and I am incredibly excited to see what she writes next!
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
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Disclaimer: A finished copy of this book was sent to me by Random House Canada for consideration/review. All opinions are my own.