A savvy former street child working at a law office in Mumbai fights for redemption and a chance to live life on her own terms in this “smart, haunting, and compulsively readable” (Amy Jones, author of We’re All in This Together) debut novel about fortune and survival.
“A heartbreaking yet hopeful story about the resilience of the human spirit in the face of insurmountable odds.”—Etaf Rum, New York Times bestselling author of A Woman Is No Man
With a sharp wit and sharper tongue, twenty-three-year old Rakhi Kumar is nobody’s fool. Sure, she lives alone in a slum and works as a lowly office assistant for the renowned lawyer, Gauri Verma, who gave her a fresh start. But she’s come a long way from her childhood on the streets of Mumbai. Most important, she’s busy enough to distract herself from the nightmares of a grisly childhood incident that led to the disappearance of her best friend.
Fiercely intelligent, Rakhi could be doing so much more than making chai, but she allows herself to be underestimated by her colleagues at Justice For All, Gauri’s cash-strapped rights law office. These days, it’s becoming harder for Rakhi to keep her head down as Gauri desperately tries to save her organization by recruiting former Bollywood actress and infamous nineties “thong girl,” Rubina Mansoor, to be their celebrity ambassador. But not all money is good money. Convincing Gauri to make increasingly brash moves, Rubina demands an internship for a young family friend, Harvard-bound graduate student, Alex Lalwani-Diamond. An ambitious, naïve rich kid with a savior complex, Alex persuades Rakhi to show him “the real India.” In exchange, he’ll do something to further Rakhi’s dreams, in a transaction that seems harmless, at ﬁrst.
As old guilt and new aspirations collide, everything Rakhi once knew to be true is set ablaze. And as the stakes mount, she will come face-to-face with the difficult choices and moral compromises one must make in pursuit of self-preservation, and ultimately, survival. Such Big Dreams is a moving, smart, and arrestingly clever look at the cost of reclaiming one’s story.