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December 27, 2021

The Taste of Ginger by Mansi Shah ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

“My family was no different from every other Indian family we knew, and putting on the pretense of being a happy family was more important than actually being one.”  

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Taste of Ginger
January 2022; Lake Union; 978-1542031905
audio, ebook, print (317 pages); family fiction

Preeti was only seven years old when she moved to Chicago with her parents and brother from their family home in India.  The parents stayed in an area made up of Indian families and stayed true to the customs that they grew up with.  Preeti and her brother knew that they needed to be Americanized as quickly as possible to keep other kids from making fun of them.  This, of course, caused a lot of friction between her and her parents - primarily her mother.  The end to her relationship with her mother was when her parents found out that she was living with a white Christian man  She was a lawyer in a prestigious law firm and wanted to believe that she was on track to become a partner in the firm so she billed more hours than anyone in the firm.  Her family was traveling back to India for a wedding and she made a decision not to go with them.  When a terrible accident happens to a member of her family while in India, she asks for time off to go to India and her supervisor reluctantly agrees to as short of a time as possible.

In India with her immediate family and many other relatives, life seems very different and strange for Preeti.  She had forgotten many of the customs and rituals that were part of normal life but the longer she's there, the more familiar it gets.  Preeti is surprised as she learns more about her family and their battle with castes tradition, and sacrifice. She is torn between being an American and life in India and has to make some major decisions to figure out where she belongs and what home really means to her.  

This beautiful novel mostly takes place in India and I learned a lot about the food, the rituals and the clothing that were part of life in India.  It also gave me a better understanding of how much work goes into becoming Americanized so that immigrants will fit into our culture. Plus the homesickness they feel for their homeland and the family that they left behind.

This debut novel by Mansi Shah made me laugh and also made me cry.  It's so beautifully written that I am looking forward to whatever she writes next.

Buy The Taste of Ginger at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.


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  1. I really enjoyed this one, too. I would read another novel by this author.

  2. Oh, I'm going to have to check this one out! Thank you! Take good care and Merry Christmas!