Top critical review
It is the story of Indians and Italians falling in love!
Reviewed in India on 22 February 2020
I have not read a book for quite some time. No specific reason behind it – sometimes time just flies past. So, when I was asked whether I would like to read ‘The Cheese & Chutney Affair’, I jumped at the chance.
The story, in real short, is about 2 pairs of couples, each couple being an Indian-Italian ‘composition’, who live happily ever after. Yes, of course, the authors tell us how it leads to the eventual outcome, but I will leave that for you, the readers, to find out. If you were looking for any spoiler alert here, I’m sorry to have disappointed you.
I finished reading this story in a little more than an hour. It is not only because I tend to ‘gobble’ down mushy stories but because the depth of the romance, somewhere, was missing. To me, the dialogues were light and breezy, but I did not quite feel gooey while reading them. What also distracted me quite a bit was the editing mistakes. This was, in fact, unexpected since I know what a strong grip over the language the authors have.
However, I will give the writers their credit where they deserve it. The title was apt, and humourous as well. This humour has been kept alive throughout the story as well. The use of non-English words has added to the flavour.
The characters have been kept uncomplicated and this kept the reading swift. The questioning mind of mine, however, did ask a few questions at times – the male protagonist became a flirt just because of an early childhood heartbreak? Was the Aunt to blame for this? Wasn’t the female protagonist’s father being too nosey? Why wasn’t the mother’s loss dealt with adequately? A part of me feels that the writers did this on purpose as they wanted to make it a flirty one-time read and not a piece of literature that needs to be dissected and bisected.
So, if you are feeling low and want to curl up in bed and get yourself away for an hour or so from the turbulence in your mind, then pick up this novella. Don’t forget to eat your piece of cheese as you read. Oh yes, the mint chutney will go well with the formaggio!