Love Muffin and Chai Latte – A Review

Love Muffin and Chai Latte by Anya Wylde

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When Shakespeare said what’s in a name he couldn’t have been more wrong. I picked up this one based solely on the name. Love Muffin and Chai Latte sounded a delicious mix of East and West. The blurb confirmed what I thought about it – the story of an American girl who moves to the England and then to India, written by a non-Indian author – this I wanted to read.

The Story

This is the tale of Tabitha (Tabby) who flees to England when her sister marries her (Tabby’s) fiancé. There, she meets Chris. Within a year of dating each other Chris proposes to her. She’s taken completely by surprise but agrees to marry him because, well because she’s been thrown out by her landlord, is jobless and of course because she quite likes Chris and he convinces her it wasn’t a ‘pity proposal’ at all, he was going to ask her anyway. Tabby is aware Chris is Indian but doesn’t know exactly how much of an Indian he is. Alarm bells should have rung when she discovers Chris is actually Mr Chandramohan Mansukhani and has a large extended family in England and India and also that she would have to win the approval of his grandfather, the arrogant inflexible Daaji to get married to him. Lulled into a sense of security by Chris and his beautiful sister Maya, she travels to India to  meet the family and that’s where the fun begins.

The Review

This is a book you’re either going to hate or love. I loved it. But I’ll get to that in a bit. First, let me try to warn you off because I believe in giving out the bad stuff first.

The story is full of exaggerated stereotypes – there’s a chappal babaji who blesses people with a tap of a slipper, auntie ji’s of all shapes and hues, slimy men and plotting women and a hunk of a dream hero – who’s upright, brave, famous and a rather unbelievable philanthropist.

The situations Tabby gets into range from clichéd to unbelievably ludicrous. There are kidnappings, blackmailing, shooting, narrow escapes and a typical airport scene, yeah right out of a Bollywood film. Oh and there are some poo jokes too.

There I’ve put it all out.

However, all of that worked for me. The mix of family and friendship and romance with a very generous dose of humour made it a perfect light read. It had plenty of laugh aloud moments with tongue-in-cheek one-liners. Without giving out spoilers I’ll say certain situations had the most unexpected, unbelievable riotous endings. Some parts, like the description of the aarti at the Ganges, touched me just the way they affected Tabby. She proves to be likeable enough heroine – with her loneliness and complexes and her affinity to put her foot continuously in her mouth, she’s fun.

This one is a Bollywood masala script. Read it without going into the hows and the whys and you’ll love it. Analyse it and it’ll fall flat.

Last thought: A crazy comedy that deserves to be read.

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14 thoughts on “Love Muffin and Chai Latte – A Review

  1. Shilpa Gupte

    I guess I will read this one, Tulika, on a day when I really want to read something nonsensical and absurd. It does appear to be a typical Bollywood -masala-movie kinda book. However, I want to know something…why does India get portrayed thus (in foreign films/books by foreigners) – you know, with babajis, and the poojas at the Ganges and huge families and big, fat weddings with an overload of bling? There is a lot more to India than this, isn’t it? Or, are all these things quintessentially Indian? Or, shall I say, the essence of India, without which a book/film on India would seem incomplete, meaningless? Just wondering aloud, haan! 🙂
    Loved your review…as always! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Beat About The Book Post author

      I know. That’s my grouse too. Books and films tend to pick up the typically Indian things and exaggerate them a hundred times over for effect, I guess. Sometimes that can get maddening. This time however I enjoyed it. I think it’s all in the telling of the story.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Rajlakshmi

    Loved the name of the book. It does sound like fun… But not sure how much of a fan I will be if it has poo jokes 🙈🙈
    Always love the honesty in your reviews

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. shalzmojo

    This is what reviews should be like. Bang on with the opinions and clear about the likes and dislikes. You have made me want to read it despite the fact that I avoid such stereotypical takes of india…. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Lata Sunil

    I have heard of chappal babaji. So crazy it sounds. There is also a ‘laat’ babaji who will kick you wherever it pains you and the pain vanishes. But, this sounds like a light, fun read.

    Like

    Reply

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