about the book:
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death and her dark past by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate the Annual Women’s Conference to raise awareness around violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer. Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Her work in the U.S. and the online medium brings the two men into her life, and Ahana learns that neither is what he seems. With their differing sensibilities on a collision course, Ahana finds herself in a dangerous situation—and she discovers a side of herself that she never realized she had.
Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about trust and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her faith in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.
As Ahana matures from a victim of domestic sexual abuse into a global feminist leader, she must confront her issues: both with the men in her life and, ultimately, with her own instincts. Whom can she rely on to have her best interests at heart?
In Louisiana Catch Ahana is in her early thirties, lives in New Delhi and is very close to her mom who is a successful doctor. Her life changes drastically after she finally divorces her abusive husband Dev and when not long after, her beloved mother passes away. As the story flows Ahana deals with the loss of her mother and she tries to find her inner strength being that she was sheltered for much of her life. She finds a support group online where she meets a man named Jay. She cannot shake the feeling that Jay isn’t what he makes himself out to be as he has a bad habit of manipulating her through his texts and emails yet she can’t fully break off the online connection. She also meets Rohan Brady at work. Ahana initially doesn’t trust Rohan but the two eventually become friends. Also in the mix are Ahana’s family and close friends like Naina and her work as a women’s advocate for a non-profit. She works in public relations for “Freedom Movement”. Her work lets her travel to different parts of the country like Louisiana and NYC.
Much of the story revolves around Ahana finding her inner strength. Having her mom as her rock, she depended on her alot but now Ahana wants to depend on herself. She has divorced her abusive husband yet he seems to still pop up and try to play mind games.
“My name is Ahana Chopra, and I was born and raised in the most ludicrous city in the world: New Delhi. Sometimes, I feel New Delhi doesn’t understand me. Other times, I don’t understand it. I don’t think I’ve ever found a way to bridge the differences between what I was and what I was expected to be in this city.”
p.2, Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram
I liked Rohan’s character the most. He and Ahana slowly became friends, he earned her trust. I also found it interesting the dynamic between Ahana and Jay. In this digital era we connect so much through social media and through our cell phones. It is hard to know who to trust online, it can go either way. Much of the story centers around Jay’s virtual hold on Ahana. This reminded me of the tv show Catfish. When Ahana meets Jay online she is in an emotional state and looking for support and he exploits this. The book shows how easily it is to become “friends” online with a virtual stranger and the dangers this can pose. Without giving too much away, many times I was shaking my head because of some of the actions Ahana was taking and because one of the characters was making my skin crawl.
Another thing I liked was Ahana’s love of her culture and the way she described New Delhi, the food, the people the sights, the good and the bad of it. She would contrast and compare it to New York. I have a girlfriend who studied abroad in India for a few months and she had alot of stories to share when she returned, good and bad. Like the monkey who stole her dress right off the balcony where she and the other students were living. She saw him in a tree with it. She had stories about the food she ate, the people she met, the train rides, the rickshaws, the animals and many other interesting things. She loved this part of India. But she also told us about the downside of it, when she was actually harassed by a young man who had the audacity to grope her bare leg then made a run for it after facing zero repercussions.
In Louisiana Catch Ahana talks about how women are disrespected and abused, not just in her country but everywhere. She suffered alot at the hands of her ex-husband Dev especially. He was irritating to read about and the way he would manipulate her and harass her even after the divorce was really disturbing. I especially liked these lines as they ring true.
“I couldn’t force him to respect me, but I did make a choice not to be disrespected”
p.76, Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram
I enjoyed Louisiana Catch and recommend it to those looking for a well written book that revolves around relevant and important themes. I do have to give a trigger warning for the topics of rape and abuse within the storyline as Ahana opens up about what she suffered. It isn’t overly graphic, but it is discussed.
Special thanks to Serena over @ Poetic Book Tours for including me in this online book tour. Follow the links below for the full blog tour schedule and there is a giveaway. CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN A COPY
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
March 8: Button-Eyed Reader (Spotlight/Giveaway)
March 14: Soapy Violinist (Review)
March 22: the bookworm (Review)
March 28: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post/Giveaway)
April 10: Svetlana Reads & Views (Review)
April 25: Suko’s Notebook (Review)
April 27: Life’s A Stage (Review)
April 28: Drunk On Pop (Review)
May 6: Books From Dusk Till Dawn (Review)
May 8: Where the Reader Grows (Spotlight)
TBD: Modern Creative Life (Interview)
About the Author:
Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a best-selling author of 11 books, a wellness columnist, and a mindfulness writing coach. Featured by Asian Fusion as “one of the most influential Asians of our time,” Sweta writes about women, multiculturalism, and identity. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and other publications across nice countries and three continents. Louisiana Catch (Modern History Press 2018) is her debut U.S. novel. Born in India, Sweta grew up between the Indian Himalayas, Northern Africa, and the United States collecting and sharing stories. Exposure to this vast societal spectrum inspired her to become an advocate for social issues and also to get certified as a Holistic Health Counselor. In this avatar, Sweta is the CEO-Founder of NimmiLife through which she helps people elevate their productivity and creativity using Ayurveda and yoga. A certified yoga teacher, Sweta also teaches yoga and mindfulness to female survivors of rape and domestic violence. She lives with her husband in New York City.
disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free ARC of Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram via Poetic Book Tours .
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