I like to think that this book is one of those that you know you will enjoy, but don’t expect it to become one of your hits of the year. Come join me in this book review and see if you agree.
The Kosher Delhi* by Ivan Wainewright introduces us to Vik, a twenty year old English boy of Jewish/Indian mixed heritage. Throughout the book, Vik works his socks off to become the chef he always dreamed of being, yet is faced with many struggles along the day, racism being one.
He is in a relationship with feisty Yvonne, a Scottish activist who strives vehemently for social justice and is trying to kickstart a career in music. When Vik reaches a point where he can’t ignore his issues any further, will he stand up for what he believes in?
I could easily write a review which outlines the plotline of this story but I don’t want that to be the main focus. What I want to be the main focus of this review are the themes.
The Kosher Delhi is set in the 1990s so you can imagine that some of the things that play out in the book are shocking. Your imagination is right. It is hard reading about the awful acts of homophobia and racism that occur. Yes, this book is fictional but you just know that similar acts, or worse, did in fact really happen. Sometimes when I was reading this book I felt a sense of relief that we have progressed in our views and actions toward other people. Other times I was reminded that acts of hatred still do occur and we have a long way to go just yet.
Regarding the two main characters, Vik and Yvonne, some other strong themes came into play. Take Yvonne, for instance. I adored her feminist attitude and her ability to speak her mind and stand up for those who are being wronged. On the flip side, I was able to see how sometimes it can be difficult to stick to your values when you are placed in a world that sometimes forces you to contradict yourself in order to progress.
Even though this isn’t a YA book, with Vik I was reading a true coming of age story. It was wonderful to follow Via over the course of four years and see him grow up and find himself. Now that I am 31, I can really appreciate the relief in knowing who you are and being comfortable with it. I admired his will to succeed and overcome the horrendous obstacles put in front of him. And, with him and Yvonne together, we truly have a book that shows us two young people trying to make it in life while following their dreams.
Seriously, I sincerely enjoyed this book. It is so much more than a story about a young couple. I really hope that this review encourages you to pick up a copy of The Kosher Delhi. You won’t be disappointed.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.