Monday, September 24, 2018

Review: The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani (audio)


Title: The Storyteller's Secret
Author: Sejal Badani
Narrator: Siiri Scott
Published: September 2018,  Audio - Brilliance Audio / Print - Lake Union Publishing
Length: 13 hours 21 minutes / ARC paperback, 412 pages
Source:  Audio - Brilliance Audio / Print - Lake Union Publishing via Wunderkind PR


Summary:
From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.
 
Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past.

Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation. Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.



My thoughts:  When I was pitched this book, I had no idea just how powerful and emotional it would be, nor how much I would I identify with the main character. I love books that explore a person's roots, but I also love books that take on infertility because I struggled with it and it is more common than you might think.

Right away, I felt a connection to Jaya. While we do not share a cultural bond, I felt that the fertility issues she went through made me connect with her in a greater sense than anything else could have. This is not an easy path for anyone, and I know the toll it takes on a marriage - it's not something you want to broadcast, and yet it shouldn't be something we keep hidden and buried deep inside ourselves. 

I loved that Jaya felt such a strong pull to go investigate her roots. The stories she hears over in India felt so real, and I loved how the timelines moved effortlessly and seamlessly back and forth in time from the present to the past. These stories are full of the culture of India and I vividly remembered my social studies lessons on the Indian caste system coming back to me as we hear about the Untouchables and others. 

This book takes you on an emotional roller coaster...it gives you all the feels. I was laughing and then crying. It was a heartfelt yet heartbroken tale that is also full of joy and self-discovery. It is one that I won't be forgetting anytime soon.

As Jaya finally comes to a place where she can finally speak about her heartbreak, I too am at that same place. I had three miscarriages. I only say this so that if you are struggling with infertility or have had a miscarriage and need someone to talk to, you can reach out to me. Please know I have been there. It's not as uncommon as you think and I am more than willing to listen if you need a sympathetic ear.



Audio thoughts: This was the first time I've listened to Siiri Scott narrate a book and I thought she did a fantastic job narrating this book. Her accents were spot on and she gave each character their own unique voice. Her pacing and intonation was great and she infused just the right amount of emotion into her voice as needed. This was a tough book to listen to at times and yet Siiri handled it with perfection.
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1 comment

  1. Apart from the feeling of loss, the story unravelling the past must be a fabulous read.

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