A holly jolly Diwali

Sonya Lalli

Book - 2021

Twenty-eight-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She's always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she's always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she's laid off, Niki realizes that being practical hasn't exactly paid off for her. So, for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last...-minute flight for her friend Diya's wedding. Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it's the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual. When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband, and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. And when she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life-to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life of which the old Niki never would have dreamed"--

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Subjects
Genres
Romance fiction
Published
New York : Berkley 2021.
Edition
First Edition
Language
English
Item Description
Includes Readers Guide.
Physical Description
317 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780593100950
0593100956
Main Author
Sonya Lalli (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* When Seattle-based data analyst Niki Randhawa, a romantic at heart who doubts she'll find Mr. Right, is unexpectedly laid off, she decides to attend her best friend's wedding in Mumbai during Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Her parents are thrilled she's visiting their ancestral home for the first time, but thoroughly American Niki has a lot to learn about life in India, including systemic prejudice and violence against women. At the wedding, Niki is surprised to find herself brazenly flirting with a smoking-hot, London-based musician named Sameer Mukherji. As they join their friends on a group honeymoon, Niki can't deny that her time with Sam is turning out to be more than just a magical holiday fling. Or is she just getting carried away by a romantic fantasy? Funny and heartwarming, with lush descriptions of Indian beach resorts and chaotic city streets, Lalli's (Serena Singh Flips the Script, 2021) latest multicultural romance is extremely satisfying; her characters are refreshingly relatable. Highly recommended for fans of Sonali Dev and Sophie Kinsella. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Laid off from the analyst's job she pursued for security's sake and tired of feeling obliged to stick close to her family while dating seemingly appropriate men who just don't thrill her, Niki Randhawa leaps on a last-minute flight for her friend Diya's wedding in India. She arrives just in time for Diwali, the Festival of Lights, held annually in November. At the wedding, she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji, who sets her heart vibrating while reawakening her passion for the arts, and soon she needs to choose between Sam and a job offer back home—a decision that carries her into the Christmas holiday. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In the latest from Lalli (Serena Singh Flips the Script), Niki Randhawa decides to attend a friend's wedding in India after she is laid off from her job unexpectedly. While there she meets Sam Mukherji, whose life isn't going according to plan either, and they form a connection. However, her life is back in Seattle, and his is in London, so they must decide what matters to them most. A major part of the story is Niki's relationship with her family and her sibling rivalry with older sister Jasmine; she questions whether she wants to always be the practical and dutiful one. There's some discussion of colonialism and colorism and one scene of street harassment, but it's a light read overall. VERDICT Suggest to readers looking for holiday fun along with their romance.—Sydney Ashby, Metropolitan Lib. Sys., Oklahoma City Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

A whirlwind vacation affair deepens into an unforgettable connection in this unsteady holiday rom-com from Lalli (Serena Singh Flips the Script). After uptight Niki Randhawa is laid off from her data analytics job, she does something uncharacteristically impulsive, taking off to Mumbai for both her best friend's wedding and Diwali, the Festival of Lights. While attending the luminous wedding, she locks eyes with Sam Mukherji, the live band's bassist. Their mutual attraction is instantaneous and intense: Sam is "literally copied and pasted from wildest fantasy," and Niki soon discovers there's more to him than meets the eye as he opens up to her about his past. But their romance can't last forever—Niki will return to Seattle for Christmas in three weeks, while Sam will go home to London. They must decide if what they have is worth preserving across the distance. Lalli enriches her tale with rich, vibrant descriptions of South Asian culture and a gentle exploration of the cultural differences between Indian Americans and India natives, but the pacing of the love story itself feels clunky, dulling the emotional impact. Readers looking for a holiday escape will enjoy the scene-setting, but may long for more substantive romance. Agent: Martha Webb, CookeMcDermid Literary. (Oct.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"One type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning. Twenty-eight-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She's always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she's always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she's laid off, Niki realizes that being practical hasn't exactly paid off for her. So, for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya's wedding. Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it's the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual. When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband, and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indianroots. And when she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life-to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life of which the old Niki neverwould have dreamed"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A very practical, straightlaced twenty-eight-year-old, Niki Randhawa, attends a friend’s wedding in India where she arrives in time to celebrate Diwali and meets a free-spirited London musician who helps her get in touch with her passionate and creative side. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Lalli's prose is deft, her characters are delightful and her book is the just-right holiday romance."--USA TodayOne type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning. Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She's always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she's always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she's laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn't exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding. Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it's the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual. When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life—to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.