The Sari Shop Widow by Shobhan Bantwal is a very simple and sweet book. The characters are life like and relating to them is easy.
Anjali Kapadia, 37, is the daughter of Usha and Mohan Kapadia, lives in Little India, New Jersey. She converted her parents’ sari shop into a chic boutique that sells exquisite jewellery and clothing, Silk & Sapphires, ten years ago. She is very creative and artistic and designs luxury saris and wedding attire for the Indian immigrants and her life revolves around the boutique. Anjali is traditional yet independent; she values her family and the Indian values. Her brother, Nilesh, is eighteen years younger and is a college student.
In their quest to make the boutique exclusive and well stocked, the Kapadias run into financial problems. Her father calls up his autocratic brother, Jeevan in India and asks him for help. Jeevan is a shrewd businessman. Jeevan comes down from India with his partner, Rishi Shah to assess the situation. They go with the Kapadias to inspect the boutique and give their verdict. Anjali is very skeptical and curious to know what would happen to the boutique, when they suggest that Silk & Sapphires be transformed into a modern store and they also plan to buy fifty-one percent of the boutique.
Rishi Shah, 42, is an Anglo-Indian, is the son of a Gujarati father and a British mother. He has a chain of boutiques the world over and helps various businesses in problems. He has a live-in girlfriend, Samantha, but breaks off with her after coming to New Jersey. He is a very strong willed person.
Risha feels that Anjali is scared that they may take the boutique away from her and tries to gain her trust. In the process, they fall in love. They have their share of misunderstandings and her mother’s reaction to Anjali’s spoilt mood because of Rishi is very natural and has been potrayed that way.
Each character in the story has a defined role to play, be it Anjali, Rishi, Jeevan, Mohan, Usha or Samantha for that matter. The relationships of the Kapadia family are a very important aspect of the story. The story has a Gujarati flavor to it.
As with Shobhan Bantwal’s books, this book was also captivating and whenever I got a chance, I would read just a bit, even while waiting for the traffic light to turn green. I really loved the book.
Book Source: Bought