I received a gifted galley of A HOLLY JOLLY DIWALI by Sonya Lalli for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review!
Publication Date: 10/5/2021
A HOLLY JOLLY DIWALI follows Niki, a young Indian woman who has devoted herself to her career without much focus on her personal life. When she’s suddenly laid off she is at loose ends, but she decides to look on the positive side that she can now travel to India for her friend Diya’s wedding. Niki’s arrival in India corresponds to the celebration of Diwali, something she knows little about. Still, she joins Diya and her family at a bit celebration. There she meets Sam and together they enjoy the holiday and the wedding festivities and begin to look forward to the future.
Niki does a lot of searching in this one. Though raised by Indian parents, she really doesn’t know much about what Diwali is, so she begins asking the various people that she meets. Even they give very different meanings as Niki continues to gather various ideas of the holiday of the festival of lights.
The author takes a hard look at various issues Niki runs across as well from racism, colorism and classism. Niki’s own family comes from an area considered less desirable and some of those she meets are not shy about pointing this out. From the way she is treated to becoming ill from the food, she’s at a bit of a loss for how she fits in. Still, her relationship with Sam is a bright spot in her life. This felt a bit insta-love-ish for my personal preference and I would have liked to see a bit more relationship development, but I was happy with how things resolved in the end.
A HOLLY JOLLY DIWALI is available now!