Simi's Mum's Diary: The Daughter of all battles by Rupa Gulab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Parenting is not always fun. There are times when you want to wring the neck of your offspring. Luckily such impulses play out more in the heads of irate parents, else we would be known as a nation of child-killers as well.
Children are supposed to be at their intractable worse when they are in their teens. Simi is 20 when the book opens but it's obvious she is still very difficult. She is a snarly, selfish brat who loves to put down her Mum at every opportunity she gets.
Simi is in the final year of college and sweet on an insufferable twerp. Simi's Mum and Dad try to adjust with the boyfriend, but find it very hard to put up with his airs and culinary demands. They are relived when the pair breaks up, but soon are rocked by another crisis when Simi is found chanting Buddhist mantras.
The book is a mild satire on the current political situation in our country and in the publishing industry. Volunteer work done by cap wearing enthusiasts, and a publisher desperate to publish a badly written book about a young man's angst in hopes of landing the next best seller, are situations that sound very familiar to us.
The book is primarily about how Simi finds her feet after landing in one mess after the other, or so her parents think.
The book keeps its tone light and is very funny. It could have fallen into the trap of being episodic, but avoids that as it is knit together well. There are very few main characters (which is a good thing) and they are well fleshed. The anxious mother aka Simi's Mum, Rohit aka Simi's Dad, Philo their cook, The Gigglies - Simi's besties are all charming characters.
I do wish Simi had been a bit less snarly. She does settle down in the end, but during the book - oh! I wanted to shake her at times.
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