Book Review of
The Spectacular Miss by Sonia Bahl

Recipe for a spectacular hit
Take Bridget Jones.
Regress her to childhood.
Transport to Calcutta.
Convert personality from self-deprecating English reticence to quick-witted Indian chutzpah. (But do keep some of that dry wit).

Give her a name.
Write her story.
Embed some neat twists in the genetic code.
Like gender confusion.
Follow through the years (And change the style just enough each year).
Get those little moments down pat (And there are an awful lot of them).
Where the readers feel they are in the room. Where they know those moments have actually been lived.

Don’t do the obvious.
Start in 4th gear, then slow it down.
Bring it to a near-halt.
Then somehow somewhere do a James Dean race to the cliff.
End it leaving the reader wanting more.

Use language like you were Gabriel’s son got married to Salman’s daughter.
Fill with vivid imagery.
Pour a liberal helping of eclectic Haruki-style metaphors of all shapes and sizes. (In almost every sentence). (But keep it just short of annoying).
Blend surface whimsicality and deep gnawing self-doubt well into an unusual khatta-meetha mix.
Add to every page.

And there you have it.
A spectacular debut.

What’s next, Ms Bahl?
PS: Was this a movie first?

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