A Desi Rhapsody in London

Fiction - General
306 Pages
Reviewed on 01/08/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Shaheen Darr was the Small & Home Business Channel Manager for Helium Inc for several years. She enjoys writing on a range of different topics that also include poetry. A selection of her poems and reflections have been self-published in the books "Soul Searching" and "The Spectrum of Life."
Her debut novel KISMET - A Desi Rhapsody in London has recently been released on Amazon and in the Kindle store. The story is based in Southall, a borough in the West of London, which is home to a diverse number of communities. Each community has carved out a niche for itself so that it can feel at home in a foreign country. Darr says she "could relate to them as I too had left my home years ago to settle in Britain. I could see their mannerisms, I knew their backgrounds, and I could relate to their continual struggles to balance ethnicity with western values. Slowly but surely a group of characters began to materialise on the pages of my book. These were the desi people (people with origins in India and Pakistan) whose kismet it was to live abroad."

    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

Anyone who is interested in the many challenges faced by those who leave their homeland to live in another country will love Shaheen Darr’s lovely novel entitled Kismet: A Desi Rhapsody in London. The current day story takes place in Southall (a London suburb), and the main characters are from Pakistan; the families moved to England several decades earlier. The middle-aged Pakistani parents are struggling with their own lives, as well as focused on their college-aged offspring marrying well. Caught between the traditional Asian-arranged marriages and the western ideal of marrying for love, the parents try to bridge these opposing concepts to ensure happiness for themselves and their children. Underneath the façade of happily arranged marriages, the novel reveals much pain and heartache for the older generations. The juxtaposition of traditional views, along with the daily experience of cellphone texting and traffic snarls, is realistic and thought-provoking.

Shaheen Darr is clearly a talented writer, demonstrated by Kismet: A Desi Rhapsody in London. From Azra, to Mina, to Hasan, there are many intriguing characters. Each person is introduced with just the right amount of descriptive information for the reader to want to know more. As the story unfolds, an additional dose of history and life experience builds the character, and the reader understands the motivations behind the character’s words and actions. Ms. Darr develops several plots among characters who are related by family connections, work, or friendship. Just like life itself, there were many joys and sadnesses, and a few tragic events. This book is truly a page-turner! A sequel would be wonderful.