- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: Notion Press, Inc.; 1 edition (23 June 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1643246224
- ISBN-13: 978-1643246222
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#3,71,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #32618 in Contemporary Fiction (Books)
Sweet Neem Paperback – Import, 23 Jun 2018
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The story revolves around how a newlywed couple, Sri and Mia manage to maintain and run a family owned restaurant named ‘Annapurna‘ and the setbacks they face in doing so. Let me be clear when I state that even though Sri and Mia play the lead roles of the story, nowhere in the course of the whole novel you feel that other characters weaved into the story are less important. The author succeeded the most in maintaining a balance between each and every aspect of the story. It is like each character stands firm as pillars to the narrative. It was delightful to see an amalgamation of numerous emotions and perspectives in a single storyline! Even though there aren’t many twists and turns, the author managed to seize my attention with a simple storyline. It was almost like any other story next door, but still, I was surprised by the fact that I couldn’t just lay the book down until I finished reading it altogether.
Hyderabad has a very diverse community, and it reflects in the way local’s lead their life here. That is something which fascinates me, and if given a chance I would never move out of this beautiful city! Even saying that all those fresh and colourful aspects of life in Hyderabad are beautifully captured in this book would be an understatement; As I feel guilty about not being able to describe it more beautifully! The most exciting aspect of the book is the chapter names the author has chosen. Each section has a title that represents a food item, and It would surprise you how the author introduced that tile of food into the storyline. It not only signifies the food and its taste in general but how its flavour relates to life. There is also a hidden touch of humour in the form of quirky Hyderabad lines that refresh the set of the story every now and then.
The author somehow managed to fit in all the slants of Hyderabad varying from ‘A Sense of Humanity to Ugly Truth‘ and ‘Opulent lanes to Narrow alleys‘ into the storyline.
The book talks a lot about food and cuisines and also explores the facts behind the usage of each ingredient which again goes well with the narrative. There is an offside that some might feel it unpalatable as it talks a lot about food, but still, it is a matter of perception. Being a foodie, I loved the noise the food, spices, and its talk created in the storyline. The author also managed to cover the religious diversity of Hyderabad, and different festivals celebrated interestingly along with the food and its essence in everyday life. By the end of the storyline, the author leaves a feel of Hyderabad like a heartbeat inside you and desire to see the city which is a paradise in its own unique way!
Just to be clear, if you are expecting it to be filled with twists and turns, then you will be disappointed. There was a single instance where the description of the food felt a bit stretched, but I am not letting that affect the rating I give for the book on the whole, as for me, the real essence is the story. Though I was a bit disappointed and felt like a bit more could have been added to the ending, I came to peace with the fact that it is meant to be like that; Simple and close to heart!
Author: Mohini Durgampudi
The book's title ' Sweet Neem ' is very different and deep. As it's a known fact that Neem tastes bitter and when the word Sweet is attached to it, the title becomes interesting.
The book's cover is an abstract art of the famous monument in the city of Hyderabad, ' The Charminar ' , with the images of red chilli & neem leaves and hence the image gives an idea that the story is set up either in the city of pearls or related to it with food as a background subject? Wait until you read!
The story is about Sri & Mia, who plan to return from abroad and set up a restaurant and a food court in the city of Hyderabad. But the story starts with an interesting line and what follows is the main ingredient of the story. Haha, the author made me so much acquainted with the food terms that I have also started using them in penning the review.
Thus this shows the impact of a great narration. Any person who is associated with the city of Hyderabad will definitely fall in love with the plot and yes! I have fallen in love, LOL it's my native.
The struggle and journey that Sri & Mia experience while setting up their new business, the little details related to cooking and it's processing are very well an integral part of the story. The author has done enough research in presenting and introducing the readers with various food items. The most interesting point in the plot is using the leftover food during any events towards the destitute and such people. The author has won brownie points for the same!!!
What I like:
1. The uniqueness in naming the chapters with food items.
2. Easy, fun-loving and feel good type storyline.
3. Apart from the story, introducing and educating the readers with some cooking tips and tricks.
4. A different flavor in every chapter.
What I didn't like:
It's a different type of storytelling and congratulations to the author for having presented it in a colorful manner. There are no drawbacks in the plot, but due to more usage of culinary and food terms few readers may find it disengaging, though the narration is interesting,
All the characters are very well plotted.
The narration is cool, engaging and educating,
Language & Grammar:
Simple and easy language is used.
My Final Verdict:
A good and a tasty read.
Book Title: 3/5
Book Cover: 3/5
Language & Grammar: 3/5
Final Rating: 3/5