BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors [The Rajes series, Book 1] by Sonali Dev [in Booklist]

Lauded for sweeping Bollywood-esque multicultural family dramas, Sonali Dev debuts an Austen-inspired series starring the Indian royalty-descended, Northern California-established Raje family. Her first installment riffs on P&P with an added gender mix-and-match.

Second Raje daughter Trisha is an extraordinary Stanford neurosurgeon, but her personal relationships have suffered since her college roommate Julia Wickham almost ruined her family. When Trisha meets London-born Darcy Caine – he prefers DJ – insults fly after she calls him “hired help,” never mind he’s a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who’s catering Trisha’s gubernatorial-candidate brother’s events. DJ abandoned his Paris life to be with younger sister Emma (!), who’s also Trisha’s truculent patient.

Prodigious Soneela Nankani shepherds the vast cast to a happy ending, tirelessly affecting multiple accents beyond California vernacular, including Indian and British English, although Dev’s clumsy mixture of posh and street British seems to cause Nankani aural dismay. Listeners will be eager for the next Raje installment – a Persuasion-inspired foodie novel starring cousin Ashna – and hoping for another performance by Nankani.

Review: “Media,” Booklist, September 15, 2019

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2019


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