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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Hard Choices: Three Short Stories by Lakshmi Karra is an inspiring collection of three beautifully crafted stories, involving strong characters of Indian origin faced with difficult relationship choices, stories that invite readers to think about the traditions and customs against which the characters evolve. In “My Story,” Gauri, a daughter of Indian immigrants, gets married to an engineer, but a clash of cultures takes place between them that eventually threatens their relationship. In “Maya and Her Grandmother,” a young girl moves in with an older man, has a relationship that elicits disapproval on all sides, but it’s the wisdom from her grandmother that enlightens her choices. Lastly, in “The Will,” a young doctor in the US learns he is destined to receive a huge inheritance in India. Skeptical and undecided, what will he do?
Lakshmi Karra shows great skill in the art of the short story, with impeccable plotting and building powerful conflicts. The author skillfully weaves elements of culture into the narrative, allowing readers a strong feel of Indian traditions and the rules of relationships, their sense of family and marriage, and authority. The characters are interesting, real, and skillfully developed, and their backgrounds enable readers to feel the tension that builds up in each story, leading to emotional and fiery denouements. Hard Choices: Three Short Stories features beautiful prose, interspersed with well-crafted dialogues. The author holds your attention from the first story as the tension builds, making you long for the resolution. It is entertaining reading!