I recently read Aneesha Capur’s debut novel Stealing Karma which was a very beautiful mother-daughter story. Mira and Shanti’s relationship is beautifully portrayed by the author and is a book that will touch you and leave you with tears in your eyes by the time the book ends.
Mira who has lived in India and studied in a convent all her life is married off to Prashant who resides in Africa. Mira after moving to Nairobi knows no life beyond her bungalow and she is happy with her life, with her daughter and Prashant. Life is to change for them when Prashant dies due to a massive attack. Mira finds herself alone but at the same time finds in Wairimu, their native housekeeper, a friend and confidante. When her friends suggest that she move back to India since Africa would not be a safe destination for them to live alone due to the unrest and resentment that the natives feel towards the Indians settled there, she refuses choosing to continue living in Africa. Left with no income and a young child to support Mira withdraws into herself. Wairimu is left with no option but take charge of the house and of Shanti. The child sees her mother struggling to come to terms with her grief, she sees her mother go through relationships with other men, her drinking and smoking bouts. While Mira searches for memories from pasts that are not quite hers, Shanti struggles to make sense of her mother’s seeming indifference as she rapidly approaches adulthood. Though at times you feel annoyed wiith Mira but at instances like when she celebrates Shanti’s birthday at her friend’s house the reader realizes how deep her love is for Shanti. With her own burdens to bear she never can truly express it to her daughter.
The story is easy paced, showing various dimensions of human behavior under extreme circumstances and how they struggle to come to terms with it. A nice narrative keeps you engrossed in Mira and Shanti’s lives. Impressive debut by the author. Look forward to many more!
About the Author:
Aneesha Capur has an MFA from Warren Wilson College and an MBA from Wharton. She has attended the Vermont Studio Center, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sqaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Program, the Iowa Writers’ Summer Workshop and the Fine Arts Work Center. Her professional career spans private, nonprofit and academic sectors. Aneesha was born in India and spent most of her childhood in Africa. She now lives in San Francisco.