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Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes35 starsI actually ended up liking this book than I had made up my mind to halfway through it I had To Him Who Sits on the Throne picked it up randomly at some or the other Book Fair and never got around to reading it except for during this winter break when I seem to have adeuate leisure reading time At the end of it I find myself glad to haveicked up this light hearted often rather silly and endearing readThe lot itself was episodic with a few sustained strands running through but rimarily The Action Of The Novel action of the novel focused on these dispersed adventures the cast of wacky novel was focused on these dispersed adventures the cast of wacky Jana Bibi encounters in the small town have Some character constructions were somewhat weak and stereotypical I felt especially Lal Bahadur Pun and some were stronger with development Jana herself Feroze Zohra Moustapha Youth, Beautiful Youth perhaps even Ramchandran The subplots were often interesting and though in somearts it got slow a bit boring and a bit ridiculous the ending had some oignant and uplifting moments More than the writing itself I enjoyed the construction and contextualisation of the worldI was leasantly surprised to find less. In the first of a charming series we meet Jana Bibi who has inherited her grandfather’s house in an idyllic hill station in India Casting aside the conventions of her upper crust upbringing Jana Bibi moves with her chatty Fault Lines parrot Mr Ganguly and her loyal housekeeper Mary to a town where the local merchants arehilosophers the chief of Hunt for 901 police is a tyrant and a bagpipelaying Gurkha keeps wild monkeys. If not no fetishisation and romanticisation of India and small towns here than I had expected from a European author writing about a European woman in ost independence India There are ways in which Woodman foregrounds some relevant historical issues and narratives and contextualises the story with unexpectedly detailed knowledge about socio cultural life in lower Himalayan India and the 1960s in India Although at some Captain China Volume 1 points it felt a bit superficial I did have fun recognising that the author has done her research well enough and in some measure engaged with the community she sought to tell the story ofI found myself surprised at thelanned series but it made sense seeing how Woodman deliberately leaves many strands of the story open ended and uestions unanswered Although I won t immediately get into the seuels I wouldn t mind reading them at a later oint when I m in the mood for something light and fun and occasionally thoughtful Jana Bibi s Excellent Fortunes is an agreeable charming read But I was taken aback when reaching book s end to learn it is the first in a series One. At bay Settling in Jana meets the town’s colorful characters who gather At The Why Not the Why Not shop her neighbour the contemplative who struggles with his business and family; former college friends now respectively shopkeeper whose shop is bursting at the seams with objects of unknown rovenance and newspaper editor who burns the midnight oil at his Cast On, Bets Off printingress; a tyrannical head of oli.


Book yes but I expect all the best bits now have been used The author is aiming I expect for Alexander McCall Smith s statospherically successful Precious Romatswe series but sans the mystery story That will take some doing In any case after the third Precious that series got tired Writing a book review becomes enjoyable when reading the book has given one some leasure and I have to say writing this review is one of the easiest things I ve done Jana Bibi s Excellent Fortunes by Betsy Woodman is the story of Jana Laird a woman with a mission to save Hamara Nag After some good but heavy reads lately this novel was so refreshing Filled with colour music humour and hilosophy IT REMINDED ME A BIT OF reminded me a bit of Moggach s Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which was a novel before it was a movieI would so love to go to Hamara Nagar the Indian hill station and hang out with Jana Bibi Mr Ganguly Mary and all the localsand maybe even get my fortune told I do not remember how this book got my to read list and when I spotted it in the library I did not have great expectations out of it It surprised Ce who rules the village with an iron hand; and the the young man with a golden voice who wants to be a singer in the movies When word gets out that the small town "is in danger of being flooded a new government dam forcing everyone to move and start over "in danger of being flooded by a government dam forcing everyone to move and start over is enlisted to save the community Will Hamara Nagar survive With some luck and Mr Ganguly the fortune telling arrot fate may be on their side. .