Thank you, Rupa Publications for the review copy. 🙂
I have never read a book by Aarti V Raman before. She’s been on my radar, but I’ve never gotten the chance to read her work before. But this time, I did pick up one of her books and now, I know that any time I want to read a well-written romance by an Indian author, I’m going to go and read one of her books. And that’s all thanks to The Worst Daughter Ever!
The Worst Daughter Ever is the story of LJ Raghavan, who, two years ago, had a fallout with her family. But now that her grandmother, Chandralekha Chakrapani has died, she is obviously required to attend the funeral and as a consequence, a very daunting few days with the family that has issues with her and with which she has issues too. Involving her mother, her father who isn’t speaking to her, her protective twin, her sweet and perfect sister-in-law, a cousin she loves, a cousin she hates, a lawyer she’s intrigued by, and a host of other family members, The Worst Daughter Ever – here, LJ – has to see if she can stop the whole thing from blowing up in her face.
The easiest thing to love about this book is how easy it is to read. It’s fun and breezy – not fun as in ‘I’m enjoying reading about a funeral’, but fun as in, the writing is good and encompasses a lot of things that I wouldn’t have imagined.
In many other books like this, protagonists are usually ignorant to what they have done and it takes them someone to make them understand what’s wrong. But here, LJ accepts what she’s done and takes the flak coming her way. She cries, but at the end of it all, she looks up and says, “I deserved it all.” And that’s refreshing to read because that makes her better than any other character there. It makes you want to stand up for her and punch anyone who bitches at her, in their faces. Especially the cousin who hates her. *ahem*
The Worst Daughter Ever is a great book especially because of how much it made me feel. Especially towards the end, I went, “Oooooh yes!” I can’t say what else I thought because then it might be a spoiler for those who haven’t read it. But I cried at the end because in that moment more than ever, I was LJ. It took me a lot to physically restrain myself from jumping into the pages and whacking <hated-cousin> across the head. The whole South Indian family drama plays out very well and it doesn’t take away from the setting it is in – LJ’s grandmother’s funeral, which is an important part of the story, by the way!
I love the self-discovery (of sorts), the coming to terms with one’s situation, standing up for oneself, fighting for one’s love, defending oneself or one’s loved ones, and snapping and bringing out your feelings because you’ve been restraining yourself and because no one’s been listening to you. It is so, so, so relatable, given how us Indians are expected to be – accommodating to everyone else’s feelings and wishes but ours.
Now that I have had a taste of Aarti V Raman’s writing, I know that I’d love to go back to her works and immerse myself in the paradox that is her writing. It’s light but heavy, easy but hard-hitting, and gives you a sense of what it’s like to be part of an Indian family! Love this one!
And if you’re looking for a breezy contemporary read, I’d highly recommend this to you! Do give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life. 🙂