on December 9, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Food, Friendship
Published by Avon
Source: Kindle Unlimited
‘For my whole life I had been looking for home. But why would that be in a place that I’d left? Perhaps I had to keep moving forward in order to find it…’
Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.
In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.
But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…
A tender and uplifting story about family, community, and finding where you truly belong – guaranteed to warm your heart despite the icy setting!
Svalbard is an archipelago north of mainland Norway. Because it is so far north there are three months out of the year where the sun never rises.
This is the time of year when Maya moves to Svalbard because her boyfriend is taking on a research project. Maya suffers from severe anxiety. Moving to a new country in the middle of polar winter without a defined role does not help her anxiety.
This book does a wonderful job of portraying anxiety and its effects on people. Maya feels that she is being needy and holding her boyfriend back.
The effects of trauma is also a huge part of this book. Maya doesn’t remember much about her early life. Her mother died in an accident in India when she was young. She and her father moved to England shortly afterwards. However, when she is gifted a book of her mother’s recipes, she starts to slowly remember things.
Maya is a chef but has always shied away from cooking Indian food. Now these recipes are awakening memories of a life in India that may not have been exactly how her father described it to her.
I loved this book. There was a lot going on but it all wove together into a richly layered story. It made me google some of the recipes that she is trying to see if I’d like to make them too. I would have liked to see some recipes in the book because some of the Indian food sounded really good.
I absolutely love the cover. I’ve seen a lot of people comment that they assumed that this was going to be light and fluffy read. It definitely is not. It’s fun but there are a lot of darker issues in it.
Coincidently (sure, let’s go with that), I’ve been getting videos about Svalbard recommended to me on YouTube suddenly. Here’s a good one that shows what it looks like during the polar winter and how people deal with the darkness.
I don’t think I’d mind the darkness but I’m not a fan of the super cold.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Foodies Read