She’s always done what was expected of her. Until…
When 30-year-old Seattle-based Indian housewife Mira Sood is blindsided by her husband’s extramarital affair, her three-year arranged marriage is shattered. Humiliated, heartbroken, near-broke, and facing the united dissension of her orthodox family, Mira is desperate to rebuild her life. She moves in with her rebel cousin, searches for any job that will take her, and impulsively signs up for a half-marathon race. There’s just one problem—Mira's experience with running starts and ends with running to catch the bus.
With herself as her biggest critic and doubter, Mira commits to the race and is assisted by entrepreneur Andy Fitzgerald, a handsome, elite marathoner who helps her create a training schedule and personal goals. When the lines of friendship begin to blur, Mira realizes she’s facing an even bigger challenge.
Can Mira embrace her stronger, more independent self—risking another heartbreak and disappointing her family—or will she once again play it too safe and let the possibility of happiness slip away?
A "conservative Indian housewife" gets a second chance at love in Srinivasan's sensitive debut and Sood Family Romance series launch. Mira Sood is flabbergasted when her husband of three years, Jay Mehta, informs her that he's having an affair and leaving her. Mira's financially strapped and jobless, but divorce is taboo in Mira's culture, so she hides her struggles from her aunt and guardian, Sharmila, and moves in with her tradition-flaunting cousin, Laila. At a performance by Laila's band, Mira meets Andrew Fitzgerald, a kind stranger who returns her misplaced purse. The pair bump into each other again when Mira rashly decides to sign up for a half-marathon, and veteran runner Andrew offers to help her train. Proximity leads to intimacy, and though Mira is still reluctant to date, especially a non-Indian man, her feelings prove stronger than her familial obligation. That is until Jay decides he want her back. Srinivasan does a good job navigating Mira's anxieties and the building up of her self-confidence as she comes into her own and rediscovers romance. This gentle outing is sure to leave readers looking forward to the next in the series.
A New Mantra
As an Asian American in the PNW, I related a lot to Mira’s journey as she learned to navigate her love for her family, their internalized misogyny, and their, quite frankly, emotionally abusive relationship. Laila is best girl and Andy is a dream. The story additionally highlights how sports don’t have to be competitive to be empowering, but also shows how accessibility plays a huge factor when it is competitive, whether it be gear, training facilities, mentorship etc.
Well-developed writing style with research evident in the writing. There are occasions where the author explains what’s already been said implicitly, which can feel a bit patronizing and repetitive, along with some recycled phrasing. Aside from that, this was a good read. Lots of food. Made me hungry.
Couldn’t put it down! Great read!