Monday, August 31, 2015

#BookReview: The House that BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan

On the jacket:

I'll make my sisters squirm like well-salted earthworms. I won't sell. Even my jutti wont sell. And if I die na, then even my gosht won't sell! The late Binodini Thakur had been very clear that she would never agree to sell her hissa in her Bauji's big old house on Hailey Road. And her daughter Bonu, is determined to honor her mothers wishes.  But what to do about her four pushy aunts who are insisting she sell? One is bald and stingy, one is jobless and manless, one needs the money to 'save the nation' and one is stepmother to Bonus childhood crush-brilliant young Bollywood director Samar Vir Singh, who promised BJ upon his deathbed that he would get the house sold, divvy the money equally and end all the bickering within the family.  The first word baby Bonu ever spoke was 'Balls' and indeed, she is ballsy, bullshit-intolerant, brave and beautiful. But is she strong enough to weather emotional blackmail by the spadefull? Not to mention shady builders, wily politicians, spies, lies and the knee-buckling hotness of Samars intense eyes? Sharply observed and pulse-quickeningly romantic, this is Anuja Chauhan writing at her sparkling best!


The House That BJ Built is a sequel to The Thakur Girls. The names of Chauhan's characters bother me. I am all for uncommon sounding names, I have one myself. But when almost everyone has such name combinations, when no one in the family sounds like they are related, it bothers my OCD. I cannot flaw with Chauhan's storytelling, and keeping the Indian readership in mind, the language too is perfect. Simple, easy-flowing, narrative and with a lot of Hinglish words. I however would have preferred to read this story in Hindi. 

As has happened with a lot of well-recognised authors on this side of the millenium, their first book brings with it fresh style of writing, fresh plots and very innovative style of presenting the story. Then innovation quotient starts dipping lower. Anuja Chauhan's  The Zoya Factor was one such. Battle of Bittora was extremely witty. Then it got repetitive. The style, not the plot. What I cannot take away from Chauhan though is, that she is a good story teller. 

This story is primarily about the relationship between Bonu and Samar. They share an interesting relationship though they are not Zoya and Khoda, neither are they Jinni and Zayn. As the title suggests, the story is about the house that the Thakur girls grew up in and its impending sale. The story is a sort of a roller coaster and Chauhan has managed to hide quite a few twists, turns and surprises in the plot. The story mainly talks about Bonu but Samar and Chachiji are somewhere important too. 

Rating: ***.5/5

[This review is for Westland Books. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

1 comment:

  1. I also found this book pretty meh compared to Those Pricey Thakur Girls. But Anuja Chauhan might be one of the few Indian authors that I still read :)


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