Flap Copy: “The best novels are those that invite you into an utterly believable world of entirely authentic people in situations about which you care instantly. Gage’s beguiling narrative talent is in splendid evidence in Other Waters, making this fiction debut one of those enthralling novels.”—Katharine Weber, author of The Little Women
Maya is an accomplished psychiatry resident with a terrific boyfriend, loving family, and bustling New York social life.
When her grandmother dies in India, a family squabble over property results in a curse that drifts across continents and threatens Maya’s life. Or so her father says– Maya (being a modern woman, an American, and a doctor, for goodness’ sake) doesn’t believe in curses, Brahmin, or otherwise. But when her father suffers a heart attack, her sister miscarries, and her career and relationship both start to falter, Maya starts to worry. A trip back to India with her best friend Heidi, Maya reasons, will be just what’s needed to remove the curse, save her family, and to put her own life back in order. Thus begins a journey into Maya’s parallel world– an India filled with loving and annoying relatives, vivid colors, and superstitious customs–a cross-cultural, transcontinental search to for a chance to find real love.
Review: Other Waters is a light, chick-lit-y novel but with more depth than I expected. I really liked the immersion into Indian-American culture as I got to know Maya and her family, even if all of the stereotypes didn’t quite ring true. I appreciated the honesty with which some of her romantic relationships played out – I was afraid for a while that I could predict her relationship status at the end of the book, but I was glad to be surprised there, and pleased that the author didn’t take the obvious road to wrap things up.
I wish that Other Waters had either delved into the mystical or thoroughly explained it away, but instead, it skirted the line between encouraging the reader to believe that the curse was true and that it was just a run of bad luck. Perhaps it doesn’t matter either way, as Maya’s reaction to it is really the focus of the book, but it left some things untidily hanging for me – if the curse isn’t true, then am I not supposed to believe the family astrologer? How can Maya pick and choose which elements to believe in and which to discard? Of course, in reality, that’s exactly what many of us do, so perhaps I shouldn’t be annoyed to see this in fiction. :)
Source: ARC from St. Martin’s Press