Roopa Farooki's Bitter Sweets was a novel I picked up from the library for the lack of finding anything less 'lighter' to read, and what a perfect pick I made! It's an easy breezy read that you'd want to take on your next long flight.
Now here's a writer who spins simple yarns even if they transcend continents and generations. Apparently inspired by her " father, a charmingly unrepentant rogue who found telling the truth rather dull" and his colorful life, Ms. Farooki has written a charming novel about characters who test and eventually break many long held socio ethnic taboos. The story presents a breaking away from ones native land (Pakistan) and its traditions; willingly or otherwise. However, despite this serious theme of breaking away, Ms. Farooki's novel is not given to overt sentimentality or laden with maudlin characters; in fact she is able to weave humor, satire, and mockery in the most charmingly delectable way. The novel moves at a lethargic pace, which I perceive is deliberate as it takes away the pinch and the barbs out of every difficult situation; something that I enjoyed tremendously. There is nothing 'do or die' in or about the novel, and that lets the reader enjoy the feel and flavor of each of the many foibles that the characters indulge in.
Roopa Farooki's first novel is an easy and interesting read and has deservingly received good reviews.