: Those Delicious Letters
: Sandeepa Mukherjee Datta
TW: Makes you insanely hungry
How about a refreshingly poignant novel about food specially Bengali cuisine, rekindling relationships, finding one’s true calling, and some witty writing?
This book has 12 chapters and each follows the Bengali lunisolar calendar. Shubha lives her mundane life in the US, with her busy husband Sameer and teenage daughters. Soon after her fortieth birthday, she starts receiving letters with traditional mouth-watering Bengali recipes from a mysterious lady Didan (grandma) in Calcutta. Shubha doesn’t know who Didan is as her own grandma isn’t alive and cannot recall anyone else called Didan!
Not a fan of cooking, Shubha is transported to her earlier days in Bengal by the tantalizing recipes and in her quest for finding the mysterious Didan, her own life begins to unravel. The letters from a bygone era not only contain recipes, but also beautiful anecdotes from the writer’s life. Meanwhile, Shubha feels that Sameer has a midlife crisis and is anxious about her failing marriage. Will Shubha be able to save her marriage and find Didan?
Sandeepa has made me fall in love with Bengali food with her perfect recipes and delicious descriptions. It would have been better if pictures of those recipes had also been given. Nevertheless, the letters from Didan provided a delightful glimpse into the Bengal of the past, its traditions, seasons and mainly FOOD! The author has rightly mixed ingredients and spices with emotions and words; the result is a delicious book that you succumb to in the first taste of it!
Peppered with lip-smacking delicacies and highly relatable characters, this novel is a refreshing take on books about food and I thoroughly enjoyed every page! I highly recommend to savour this book with delight 🙂