Thursday, 15 January 2015

Book Review #26 : Fade Into Red

Author: Reshma K. Barshikar
Publisher: Random House India
ISBN13: 9788184005547
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 376

Book Blurb:
Ayra always wanted to be an Art Historian. She saw herself flitting between galleries, talking Michelangelo and Dali with glamorous ease. At twenty–nine, life has decided to make her an underpaid investment banker juggling an eccentric family, a fading career and a long–distance relationship that is becoming a light-year one.

On a monsoon day in June, she is suddenly sent packing from Mumbai to Tuscany to buy a vineyard for a star client. What should have been a four day trip turns into a two week treasure hunt that finds her in the middle of midnight wine deals, dodgy vintners, rolling Tuscan hills, a soap opera family and one playboy millionaire who is looking to taste more than just the wine.

Towards the end she finds that the road to true happiness is almost as elusive as that perfect glass of Chianti.

The cover page is beautiful - a lonely woman staring at the wine yards pondering whether to take the path with bright colours highlighting the reflection of uncertainties of today's women.

Here is a book that the young, multinational, globetrotting, working professional will relate with. 'Fade Into Red' is a lovely book based on the life story of an independent woman who is passionate about art history and is a banker by profession. She thinks her life is just perfect with the perfect job until she embarks on a journey which takes her to Tuscany as part of her job but it completely changes her life. For good.

Reshma has to be appreciated for illustrating how people have become workaholic in the search of money and how she highlights the importance of family. The narration is crisp, and a touch of humour adds some spice.

The story deals about finding one’s true calling, friendship, following one’s passion, office politics, etc. This book is a chick-lit but far better than the mushy ones. This book has everything in right proportions.

Ayra is a typical modern day girl. Smart, intelligent, ambitious and with secret desires, she is living the life of her to its fullest. She is like majority of the people, both men and women included, when it comes to her career. One can relate to her when she has to sacrifice family commitments because something unforeseen and urgent crops up at work. She was a determined woman who was trying to meet everyone's expectations even if it meant putting her wishes on the backseat for awhile. By the end of the story, she is someone who realizes the value of relationships and prioritizes what’s important in her life and what she wants. This aspect of the book struck a chord with me.

'Fade Into Red' is Ayra's journey of self discovery, dilemma on learning to compromise and giving your loved ones priority. It was about finding the right balance between doing what you love and doing what you have to do.

The author has a good way with words when she is setting up the scene. Reshma has described every scene in the book in beautiful detail. Your imagination will take you right into the gorgeous vineyards of Tuscany and into the wine making process. It keeps you glued! The detailing is right yet the flow throws you off balance once in a while.

All characters are almost alive and Ayra speaks to you through the authors words.  I thought the descriptions of the cooking frenzy that takes over at family gatherings and the brightly colored silk sarees were beautifully executed. The author is well-versed with the technical jargon of the investment banking business, and the details regarding the wine-making and vineyard-buying process.

It has all the ingredients to make it interesting. A boyfriend with whom the wedding is fixed, assignment at work taking an ambitious yet rooted Ayra to places of wine, a wealthy women-charmer boss and all the family and friends' drama. 

A travelogue, an Indian story, a romance and women’s lit all rolled into one. Definitely recommended! Give it a shot if you like reading light, entertaining fiction! In all, a nice read with enough high points. 

Rating: 4.7/5
After finishing her A Levels at Bridgine School, Windsor, and getting a BA (Hons) at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, Reshma started her career as a Journalist for India’s national newspaper The Hindu, Business Line but left mid-career to pursue an MBA at the Indian School of Business that led to a successful career in Investment Banking. After 5 years in Investment Banking she quit her job to travel for two years and visited Europe, China, and the US. She conceptualized the novel during her travels through the Tuscany wine country. She created the eccentric Ms Krishnamurthy, her precocious cat and her dog eat deal environment. Her deep appreciation for the south Indian family dynamic, experience as a freelance journalist and a passion for Italian wine helped create Fade Into Red. Simultaneously she also honed her skills as a Travel Writer and has contributed to India Today Travel Plus, SilverKris, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia, National Geographic Traveller and The Hindu Business Line. She is also co-founder of the literary blog, The Caterpillar CafĂ©.

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P.S: This review is for b00k r3vi3w

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