BITTER SWEETS by Roopa Farooki

FarookiI’ve read a few reviews lately of Bitter Sweets, by Roopa Farooki, which is about a Pakestani-Bangladeshi woman named Shona and her family. Here’s a synopsis from the Literary Safari blog: "The destructive lies three immigrant generations of a Pakistani/Bangladeshi family tell each other. Henna, an illiterate 13-year-old Calcutta shopkeeper’s daughter, is passed off as the educated 17-year-old daughter of a successful businessman in order to marry her into one of the city’s best families. The lie reverberates deliciously through three generations of Henna’s family: Farooki’s witty narrative winds its way over some 50 years, moving Henna, husband Rashid (Ricky) and daughter Shona from Calcutta to Bangladesh, Pakistan and London, where Shona elopes and raises her twin boys above a confectioner’s shop. "

From More magazine:

Former advertising executive Roopa Farooki’s delicious debut novel Bitter Sweets is a candy apple of a book, an alluring confection that is sibstantial and healthful at its heart. Into a Bangladeshi-Pakistani family that lies about everything — including how and why the parents’ marriage was arranged — Shona Kiran is born.  The madcap saga of her life veers between Bengali and English homes, between a rock concert in Oxford and a British Air business class lounge in Paris, between her home in London and her mother’s complicated household in Dhaka. But wherever this tale touches down, it is psychologically true as well as playful.  Although the way Shona frees her family from a 50-year tangle of untruths may inspire a reader to live more courageously, there’s nothing preachy here, or bitter.  This book, a finalist for 2007’s Orange Prize, is simply, shrewdly sweet.

The Trashionista blog calls Bitter Sweets an "original, entertaining, gripping and satisfying novel. Recommended. Rating: 4 out of 5."