For most hair stylists, the move from the dingy Lovely Beauty Parlour to the upmarket Nancy’s Factory would be reward enough. Gifted, young Tuki though has her sights set on a bigger prize – her own salon! Her well-laid plans start going awry as soon as the striking tattooist Faraaz joins Nancy’s Factory. Tuki needs to handle Faraaz’s advances, figure out the mystery behind the disappearance of the elderly, eccentric, brilliant writer Bijoy Dutta and rescue the multilayered Sweety Bhabhi from destitution.
Finding herself at the heart of one storm too many, Tuki decides to run away from the leafy lanes of Bandra to the old-world Portugese villas of Goa. In the comforting embrace of the village Aldona, she finds herself struggling with her rather untimely attraction to her enigmatic neighbour, the charming Arvind and sharing house with Bijoy, haunted as he is by the ghosts of his past.
Armed with nothing but a pair of scissors and the jigsaw pieces of her broken dream, Tuki has to navigate through Mumbai, Goa and London to find out if the universe is conspiring to make her or break her.
~Synopsis from goodreads
This is such a fun book, people. I read it from end to end and I just liked it so so much.
The main highlight of this book is Tuki herself – the girl with big dreams and even bigger heart. She is just really awesome.
It’s such a refreshing change to have a protagonist who is street smart, self-confident (eye roll at you, Sophie Kinsella heroines), and determined.
Tuki has a grand plan of opening her own beauty salon one day and this isn’t simply a pipe dreams. She has a business plan and enough savings of her own to actually build on her dream.
Unfortunately, life gets in the way, and her plans fall apart. Suddenly left with no job and no savings Tuki falls apart and flees to Goa, and the rest of the book deals with how she bounces back from this setback.
My Review With Minor Spoilers
Overall, I recommend this book to all lovers of chick-lit. This is a well-written book with a very entertaining story. The setting of the story with all the beauty parlor politics is unusual but fun, and the side characters are also very well-rounded. My favorite character though has to be Tuki’s pet dog Kaloo who doesn’t do anything but eat all day, but still manages to be totally adorable.
The author Parul Sharma‘s depiction of small-town life in Goa is also spot on. Reading these sections made me want to visit (and stay for a while) in Goa again. Sigh! I love that place.
That’s not to say this book is perfect. I liked the fact that Tuki was an enterprising go-getter, but the plot deals with her issues in a very Cinderella-esque way with a dashing man coming to her rescue and helping her set up her business. I would have much preferred that Tuki set about achieving her dreams independently without her boyfriend’s help. I don’t want to reveal anything more, but I found this section of the book quite unbelievable and also very irritating. Tuki’s character suddenly seems to change from can do girl to cannot do anything without support girl and that annoyed the heck out of me.
However, if you are willing to suspend disbelief for this particular plot point, I think you will enjoy the book very much indeed.
Huge thanks to the author Parul Sharma for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can also purchase a copy of this book from Amazon.
Updates to Snubnose’s Blog
Snubnose has updated her blog with her own book review of Esio Trot by Roald Dahl. If interested, head on over to Jahnavi’s Thoughts and Dreams for her take on the book.