REVIEWED BY DEBS CARR
Eastern Promise by Jessica Fox
Priya Gupta is a hardworking documentary journalist who has two weeks of hell to look forward to as part of an entourage, accompanying her mother and aunts to her younger sister’s wedding in India. Being nearly thirty and unmarried, she is a constant target for her mother’s criticism, especially when she refuses to confide the reasons behind her split with her ex Vikram, who is not only handsome and successful, but also her boss.
Crammed into her dominating aunt’s apartment with the rest of her family, she doesn’t think life can be any more stressful and in an effort to distance herself from the chaos is relieved to travel to an ashram to film her latest documentary. There she meets Noah, a guide and volunteer gardener, who doesn’t seem to fit into any of Priya’s preconceived ideas about men. She is sure there’s more to him than his calm, handsome exterior belies, and is increasingly suspicious about the activities behind the scenes at the ashram, determining to get to the bottom of what exactly does go on there.
Eastern Promise is an entertaining book with the hustle and bustle of Jaipur and the calm, dusty heat of the ashram beautifully depicted. The only minor criticism I have is that I thought Priya dwelt a little too much on Vikram and the hurt he caused her, but that could simply be my personal preference.