This book was so not what I expected! It started off more or less as what I thought it would be, but then took a turn and headed off in a completely different direction!
I loved the insider look into the world of Bollywood. It’s a whole different ballgame to Hollywood – in fact it’s on a different level entirely, and could probably teach Hollywood a thing or two!
The complex intricacies of the relationships between the Bollywood Wives, their husbands, children, leading ladies, and men is so layered and so convoluted, as can only be when many of them are from communities that are intertwined and interwoven over many years going back to the earliest days of the industry – some even pre-dating that. Throw in a few outsiders and jealousies and misunderstandings are sure to come into play.
Khan makes good use of all of this: the familiarity, together with the suspicion that is introduced when ‘others’ intrude and ‘old school’ are unwilling to get to know new ways and newcomers.
Zara Das is the Queen of Bollywood, but has made many enemies with some poor choices made in her most recent film. People are out to get her, and her past is threatening to catch up with her. Because Zara wasn’t born into Bollywood royalty. She’s risen up through the ranks the hard way, something that many don’t know. But someone thinks it’s time her fans are told the real story.
And now she’s in London with some of Bollywood’s biggest names, both on and off camera. The entire crew have come along to create what’s touted to be the biggest Bollywood blockbuster ever. And the wives have come too. But some are not just there to watch the action taking place on set. They all seem to have ulterior motives and private agenda’s.
The book is a little long … in fact it takes on rather epic proportions! But it’s Bollywood, right?! So it needs the stage to be set, the story to unfold, the action, the drama, the tragedy, and best of all … don’t forget … the love story (and some utterly toe-curling sex)! Khan dishes it all up in sequin-covered spades!
This is an engrossing read – don’t mistake it for a frothy chick-lit (how I hate that term) you might think it is. It is so, so much more than that. It shows a deep understanding of Indian culture (not just Bollywood), as well as what it takes for women to get ahead in a world that is male-dominated, and where dated notions of women’s roles are what drive male ego’s. It speaks up for strong female role-models, for breaking out of moulds that are set for them in so many areas of life, be it in the home or in the workforce. Khan has done an outstanding job in cleverly creating female characters who will look as if they comply to the norm, but who in actual fact are wily enough to know how to go out and achieve what they want, in a way that will show their strength. They have guts, daring, courage and tenacity. These aren’t wallflowers to be trifled with, or to be taken lightly. These women have looked adversity in the eye, challenged it and won.
4 stars for this powerhouse of a book!
About the author:
Alex Khan is the pseudonym of Alex Caan, whose Riley and Harris police procedural series for Bonnier reached number 1 in the digital bestseller charts, with Cut to the Bone being chosen as a WHS Smith Book of the Week.
Bollywood Wives is the book that Alex has always wanted to write – a sweeping, blockbuster novel set in the luxurious world of Bollywood.
One of Hera Books’ missions is to publish fiction from BAME voices with real commercial, crossover appeal. In this novel classic Jackie Collins meets the best of Bollywood in an escapist, engrossing and sexy novel that will appeal to all readers of commercial fiction.
Thank you to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me along for the Blog Tour, and to Hera Books, for their wonderful work with bloggers!
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