Book Reviews

Book Review: Crème Brûlée by Ramona Sen

DisclaimerI received a free paperback of this book from Rizwan Khan of Rupa Publications India and Rizwan, I cannot thank you enough for this absolutely wonderful read. The review is my honest opinion about the book and I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

The Blurb:

A quintessential Bengali anglophile, Aabir Mookerjee, is back from Oxford and can often be spotted basking in the comfort of colonial clubs or pottering around his restaurant, E&B, whose chocolate mousse has been garnering all the attention.

Troubles begin when The Mad Hatter opens across town and its attractive young proprietress shows a knack for concocting sweetmeats. Meanwhile, Aabir’s mother and the family priest unite to find him a ‘suitable’ bride. His monosyllabic sister won’t help and his incorrigible friend is too much the flagrant Lothario to be depended upon. Soon, the easily disoriented Aabir finds himself swamped by more ladies than he can handle.

Perhaps the only person who can bring things to a head is his dead grandmother, who watches over the family with an eagle eye from her unearthly abode on the coconut tree.

Hugely engaging, with bountiful laughter, read along to know how Aabir fares, even as he inches closer to the best dessert he can get his hands on and a romance he hadn’t bargained for.

Psst: The reader runs the risk of unappeasable hunger pangs, which is not to be held against this lip-smackingly tasty book

My Review:

Creme Brulee, outright, is one of the most comforting, hilarious, and beautifully written books I’ve read in a while now. There have been very few books that have made reading such a pleasure.
I picked up this book because it promised food. The protagonists  Aabir and Kimaya are restaurateurs, their places famous for their desserts.  The blurb isn’t all that distinguishing. Which is why I expected a normal fight-first-fall-in-love-next kind of story.
But the book surprised me in the best possible way and oh-so-pleasantly. The story flows so beautifully, so smoothly, it is easy to get lost into it and leave all wishes of coming out.
Ramona creates a world that is all desserty (I know there isn’t a word like that )and funny.

The book is written in a very ‘polished’ language, if I may say so and floors you like nothing else. There is a plethora of characters but not one that seems out of place. Every single character, from Thakuma to Debjani, from Purohitmoshai to Geeta, from Aatreyee to Tanuja, from Pepper to Lady Mountbatten, and of course Aabir and Kimaya will win over your heart. Every single character has been portrayed so well, written about so well. I loved how Ramona has weaved Aatryee and her monosyllabic conversations into the story. Wonderful! Aabir and Kimaya are your regular people, but the author has woven a charm around them that is hard to escape. It is hard not to fall in love with these characters-Purohitmoshai included!

My favorite characters: Thakuma (one mean spirit this woman, pun intended), Debjani, and of course the odd job boy!!!

This is one splendid book that I’d really really recommend for everybody to read.

My Rating:

Certainly a 5/5 for this one!

 

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