Author: Sonali Dev
Date of publication: 27 Sept 2016
Genre/themes: Contemporary romance, India/USA
Author's links: Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter
Add to Goodreads
My rating: 4.5 Stars
Dr. Nikhil 'Nic' Joshi had it all—marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed.
Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen’s heart in a transplant and has a message for him. Nic wants to discount Jess Koirala’s story as absurd, but there’s something about her reckless desperation that resonates despite his doubts.
Jess has spent years working her way out of a nightmarish life in Calcutta and into a respectable Bollywood dance troupe. Now she faces losing the one thing that matters—her young son, Joy. She needs to uncover the secrets Jen risked everything for; but the unforeseen bond that results between her and Nic is both a lifeline and a perilous complication.
Delving beyond the surface of modern Indian-American life, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s page-turning novel is both riveting and emotionally rewarding—an extraordinary story of human connection, bravery, and hope.
This is Ms Dev's third book and I have loved the first two with the second, The Bollywood Bride being my favourite. I have to say now that I have read A Change of Heart, it's a serious contender for that #1 spot in my heart. Ms Dev is definitely becoming a favourite author of mine.
All three novels are loosely connected, each telling the story of a character we met in the previous book but they work perfectly well on their own.
Ms Dev gives a look at life of Indians in the US and India through a beautiful but painful love story, that can only happen when broken souls meet and help each other heal.
I have to admit this story started slow for me and I had a somewhat hard time getting into it but once I was in the story, I couldn't put the book down. Unlike the previous two books here we have the romance mixed with a strong suspense/criminal plot. Like them it's a powerful character driven story with a slow growing romance, with an emphasis on personal growth and change and how one deals with disaster and moves on with their life.
Both Nic and Jess are broken in very similar, yet very different ways. It seems that she has moved on but in her interaction with Nic she sees that she is as stuck in the past and in her own pain and suffering as he is. You see two people who have suffered great losses trying to deal with that, they stumble forward, they fall, they make mistake but with the silent, almost intuitive support of the other they do manage to forge a way forward for themselves.
This is not a love triangle but there is a strong third person present in this romance, Jen, Nic's death wife and having notes from her diary at the top of each chapter worked well in connecting everyone and everything that happened to them.
Ms Dev is a master storyteller and she creates a captivating which moved me in so many ways (I've never highlighted so many passages in any other book on my Kindle). It will stay with me for a long time and I heartily recommend it to any romance readers looking for a mesmerising story, masterfully narrated.