A Goan Holiday
Contemporary Fiction with a Romantic Bent
by Anitha Perinchery
Pub Date 29 Nov 2019
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Have you ever looked through faded, old photographs and wondered what if? Has your heart ever brought to you the memory of a lost love, the bittersweet remembrances of a college romance? Have you even once yearned to return to a time less complicated?
A Goan Holiday is that story of second chances. Meet Rishi, Joe, and Anjali. There are other friends in their group--a total of seven.
The gang met as medical students in Delhi. The whole universe was ahead of them until one terrible week in November 2008 changed everything. One of them disappeared, leaving the others confused and devastated. Eleven years later, they meet again by chance in Goa.
Will Joe finally tell them what happened to make him walk away? Will Rishi discover who's blackmailing him over a mistake from so long ago? Will Anjali find the strength to be the person she wants and not what's expected of her?
Read A Goan Holiday to find out.-----------------------
Mysterious Exes, Nosy Neighbours, the Cops at Her Door, and a Job She Never Asked For... Anjali”s Life Is One Hot Mess.
From the INTERPOL database:
Target 1: Anjali Joshi. Doctor; manages a rundown charity clinic in a Goan town which may or may not be a front for criminal operations.
Target 2: Rishabh Rastogi, the sizzling ex-husband whose name somehow keeps popping up in connection with the investigation into the clinic.
Target 3: Joe D’Acosta, the brooding former boyfriend who resurfaces after vanishing without a trace eleven years ago following a visit to the clinic.
Complication: Ha! As in just one complication? Let’s start with the fact both the exes want Anjali back. Then, there’s the nosy neighbour who thinks Anjali is keeping a male harem and is trying to drive her out of town.
Operation: (going down the drain... kidding... maybe...) A Goan Holiday.
The nostalgia and the comedy of When Harry Met Sally added to the romance and drama of Brokeback Mountain with the social commentary of Anuja Chauhan's gorgeous stories.
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"Betrayal, heartbreak, blackmail, revenge and acceptance are at the centre of the book that powered by some strong characters in this tale. It drives the narrative of the book which works as a cautionary tale and even a thriller in parts. What is seemingly a straightforward tale that can be afforded many layers, with detailing. It may hit you closer than expected." - Aditi Roy, GoodReads, Amazon.In
"I truly found this read to be excellent and riveting, even when one or more of the main characters drove me crazy! It’s hard to imagine how different cultures view marriage and even love, as well as the “duties” of each family member. Nothing wrong with tradition, but, the heart wants what the heart wants, providing everyone survives this incredibly detailed and well-written tale!" - Dianne, GoodReads
"I think Anitha nailed the Asian/Indian culture perfectly. From family responsibilities/pressure, expectation and social standing. I liked the way the books are tied together the backstory and the cross over from the first book was perfectly done." Khurram, GoodReads
"Writing style : Very crispy and subtle .Author Anitha has a unique style to give her stories a special charm." - Kiranmai, GoodReads
The reappearance of an old boyfriend complicates the failed marriage of two physicians—and raises many ghosts from the past—in this romantic mystery.
For the first time in 11 years, Dr. Anjali Joshi finds herself back in Vagator in the coastal Indian state of Goa, where the famous beaches bring tourists from all over the world. She is here to check on her family’s medical clinic, which has been attracting some rumors of criminality. While she’s in town, Anjali goes on a blind date at the behest of a meddling cousin only to arrive at the restaurant and see Dr. Joe D’Acosta sitting at the table. Joe is Anjali’s medical school boyfriend who disappeared from her life without a word 11 years ago—her last trip to Goa was to search for him only to hear that he didn’t want to be found. Enraged at the sight of him, she storms off. Anjali is recently divorced from Dr. Rishabh “Rishi” Rastogi, Joe’s old medical school roommate. Rishi used Anjali’s family’s political clout to protect himself from a blackmailer, but now that he is single again, the letters have begun to reappear, threatening to out him for a crime he committed many years ago. The return of the blackmailer causes Rishi to quit his job and rush to Goa to try to convince Anjali to forgive his past indiscretions and take him back. Meanwhile, Joe feels just as shaken by the blind date as Anjali and wonders what she knows about his disappearance: “The most important question of all was one Joe didn’t dare ask: was there a chance she knew the real reason why he left Delhi, the terrible truth of what he’d done?” As both men attempt to win back Anjali while escaping the mistakes of their youth, she, too, seeks emancipation from the past—at least, the past as she understands it.
The narrative leaps back and forth between two timelines: the present in Goa and the past when the three protagonists were still in medical school. Perinchery’s prose is smooth and fluid, and it succeeds in capturing the muddled emotional states of her characters: “An Ambassador car waited at the entrance of the jetty. Joe hesitated only a second or two before stumbling into the backseat. If he tried to run, he wasn’t gonna get far, and what the agent said about the criminals going after Joe’s loved ones... he watched the streets fly past, not really seeing any of it.” While there are some high-stakes happenings and big reveals, the book is essentially a three-part character study (with some supporting personalities as well). It feels long at over 500 pages—a slimmer novel would have more momentum—but the world and the characters are generally compelling. In addition to universal themes of love and betrayal, the author explores some particular South Asian concerns relating to marriage, gender roles, and familial expectations. The ending is perhaps a bit too neat, but those who have gotten that far are likely onboard with Perinchery’s tidy brand of storytelling.
An engaging tale about a love triangle featuring doctors set in beautiful Goa.