Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review - Chai for Beginners by Jane Ainslie

Chai for Beginners tells the story of Sita Sinclair, hailing from Sidney in Australia, who at the age of 27 has been dumped by her boyfriend, lost her job and needs a new place to live. It is about her journey in search of spirituality, love and self discovery. The book also portrays the friendship between Sita and Mrs Sharma, her new neighbour who tells her more about the Ramayana and her namesake, Sita. 

Things begin to change as soon as she takes up a new job in an advertising company, where she meets the gorgeous art director, Callum. She also befriends Gerome at the office, who plays cupid and is the one shoulder for her to lean on. Things take a twist as she visits a spiritual healer who tells her more about Karma and her past life. 

Persuaded by Mrs Sharma, Sita is enchanted at the thought of visiting India with her. However, tragedy strikes and it leaves Sita in having to make the journey on her own. The rest of the novel takes us to New Delhi, Varanasi, the Ganges and Mt Abu. It gives us an insight of a journey through Sita's eyes as she visits India for the first tine. All her emotions are beautifully drawn out and it gives us a feeling of having gone to these popular spiritual places in India. 

Above all, it is the story of a woman in search of herself and coming to deal and handle things in her own terms. It is the story which we can relate to at some point or the other, be it the friendship, the love, the betrayal or the adventure. This is the debut novel of the author, Jane Ainslie, and we can certainly look forward to many more promising works from her!

About the Author: Jane Ainslie was born in the windiest city on the planet, Wellington, New Zealand. She first visited India in her twenties to study meditation. She returned three times more to advance her studies. She currently lives in Adelaide with her husband and four unruly pet ferrets.

PS- Not only is she a good writer and friend , but a wonderful person as well!

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