Stop in to learn more about how relevant Sweta Srivastava Vikram’s new contemporary fiction novel ‘Louisiana Catch’ is to the #metoo movement. Rating: 4.5/5
*Hey guys! I’m not doing a book challenge for 2018, but you can always take a look at my other challenges to find previous reviews (and shame me for my failures!)
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death and her dark past by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate the Annual Women’s Conference to raise awareness around violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer. Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Her work in the U.S. and the online medium brings the two men into her life, and Ahana learns that neither is what he seems. With their differing sensibilities on a collision course, Ahana finds herself in a dangerous situation—and she discovers a side of herself that she never realized she had.
Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about trust and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her faith in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.
As Ahana matures from a victim of domestic sexual abuse into a global feminist leader, she must confront her issues: both with the men in her life and, ultimately, with her own instincts. Whom can she rely on to have her best interests at heart?
Louisiana Catch is a unique story, one that I normally would not have picked up off the shelf, but one that I am so glad to have read nonetheless. Sweta Srivastava Vikram did a great job at fully fleshing out a story from beginning to end, and made her characters feel totally real to me. I felt as though I were reading a memoir at many different points during the book, which is a true testament to how great her storytelling really is.
The content of Louisiana Catch is culturally relevant, and that’s why I felt it was so important to read it even though it’s not normally what I reach for. We’re in the midst of the #metoo movement and I think it’s great that so many people are talking about domestic violence and sexual abuse on a grander scale. Without giving anything away, I loved going through Ahana’s journey with her. I cried with her and related with her as she dealt through the grief of losing her mother, and I rooted for her as she came to be the strong, feminist character she ended up being. I truly felt like we were able to grow with Ahana as she learned to trust others again, but most importantly learn to trust herself again.
Ultimately, this was a moving story that was able to weave romance, culture, and female empowerment together to make an almost perfect blend. What happens when you face an unthinkable loss and a potentially traumatizing experience with someone that is supposed to be your partner? Do you come out unscathed, or do you become someone different entirely?
About The Author
Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a best-selling author of 11 books, a wellness columnist, and a mindfulness writing coach. Featured by Asian Fusion as “one of the most influential Asians of our time,” Sweta writes about women, multiculturalism, and identity. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and other publications across nice countries and three continents. Louisiana Catch (Modern History Press 2018) is her debut U.S. novel. Born in India, Sweta grew up between the Indian Himalayas, Northern Africa, and the United States collecting and sharing stories. Exposure to this vast societal spectrum inspired her to become an advocate for social issues and also to get certified as a Holistic Health Counselor. In this avatar, Sweta is the CEO-Founder of NimmiLife through which she helps people elevate their productivity and creativity using Ayurveda and yoga. A certified yoga teacher, Sweta also teaches yoga and mindfulness to female survivors of rape and domestic violence. She lives with her husband in New York City.
PLEASE NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions held within this review are my own thoughts and feelings and do not reflect upon anyone else.
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