The Windfall by Diksha Basu

The Windfall

Diksha Basu

Hilarious, rollicking, and heartfelt, The Windfall is a story of one family as they try to stay true to themselves while finding out what it means to be upwardly mobile in modern India.

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A People Pick
Entertainment Weekly's Must-List
A TIME Magazine Pick
Rolling Stone's Culture Index Pick
One of Esquire's Best 30 Books of 2017

“[A] charming satire…What Kevin Kwan did for rich people problems, Diksha Basu does for trying-to-be-rich-people problems.” 

A heartfelt comedy of manners, Diksha Basu’s debut novel unfolds the story of a family discovering what it means to “make it” in modern India.
For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha's lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they'd settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all.
The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters. Hilarious and wise, The Windfall illuminates with warmth and charm the precariousness of social status, the fragility of pride, and, above all, the human drive to build and share a home. Even the rich, it turns out, need to belong somewhere.

Advance Galley Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was funny without being mocking, and provided an introspective look at the transition between traditional and modern values in India. It has strong Pride and Prejudice vibes as everyone gossips about who's married/widowed/single and what they think about the central family's sudden acquisition of wealth. The main father is lovably bumbling as he tries to fit into their new wealthy neighborhood, and his long-suffering wife tries to keep him from going overboard outfitting their new home things like a crystal-studded couch. Even amidst social gaffs and faux pas both in India and America, familial love shines through in the end.

I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. I don't know if this is really an accurate portrayal of the behavior of rich Indians (from India, not Native Americans), but I have to assume that it is at least for some. That being said, the characters in this story take keeping up with the Joneses to the extreme. Mr. Jha and Mr. Chopra are actually excited by the prospect of their adult children relying on them completely for financial support because it proves that they're wealthy enough to support them. They both even separately lament that they only have one child to support because people might think that means they're not wealthy enough to support more. I just could not wrap my mind around that concept. It's one thing to want to be able to support your kids if they need a little help to get on their feet; it's quite another to want them to fail at their endeavors. This behavior had me not liking Mr. Jha, Mr. Chopra, and Mrs. Chopra because while she's really only a side character, she very clearly embraces the keeping up with the Joneses her husband is heavily engaged in. While the main point of this story seemed to be about how the financial windfall from selling the website he created changed the Jha's lives, there were a couple of side stories that made the story more interesting for me. While I was not really fond of Rupak, the Jha's son, his relationships in America where he was attending school were intriguing. I thought he was a punk for not being up front with his parents about Elizabeth, but I also don't really understand the culture that well. What really kept me reading was the story surrounding Mrs. Ray, the Jha's young, widowed neighbor from their old life. She was really the only character in this story that I was really rooting for. I feel like I may have gotten some insight into Indian culture from reading this book, and there were some things that just left me baffled. I wish I wouldn't have felt like I had to trudge through all the money talk to get to the interesting tidbits in the story, but it is what it is. Overall I give The Windfall 3 out of 5 stars.

I loved what I read regarding Diksha Basu's debut novel. However, it expired before I could complete it. This was my very "first to read" Galley. Unfortunately, it took up most of my reading time to get the book downloaded to my iPad. It was such an arduous process that I turned it over to my husband who has been in IT his entire working career and he had problems too. Someone at "First Reads" sent me another contact and after going back and forth with a person that was happy to help my husband the book was finally on my iPad. I read a few of the reviews that people have written on this page just now. I think I would have written much the same as they did. I loved the weekly meeting they had where a woman accused the her neighbor of stealing her yoga pants. I asked if I could download the book again but there was no response. I am truly sorry I was unable to finish it. I have just finished reading "The Address" by Fiona Davis and will post my comments soon.

I was given an eARC of this book from First To Read in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks. What is it like to be noveu rich in modern India?  One family finds out first hand when Mr. Jha makes the business deal of a life time.  No more cramped spaces and gossipy neighbors, no more cutting corners and worrying about money.  Mr.  Jha is ready to live the good life- better house, good car, the works.  Mrs. Jha is more subdued, liking her life but also hoping for some nice things- a better kitchen, help, and a better life for their son Rupak.  Rupak, for himself, is enjoying his new life as a business student in America with money to spend a bit too much.  He's having so much fun he isn't passing! As we watch the family move through the ins and outs of socials casts here, you learn a lot about India and about each character's dreams and ambitions.  How much is too much?  How far must one go to "keep up" with the neighbors?  This is a light weight social satire about the precarious balance of social status and being true to yourself. Personally, while I felt like the writing was a bit choppy in parts, I loved this book.  I enjoyed that I got to see several points of view- all the Jhas and some neighbors.  I feel like that added something really great to the story.  While Mr.  Jha could have turned into a caricature a few times, we stayed clear of that to my mind.  Yes, he feels in competition with everyone to prove that he's made it- that he's won, but he has his reasons.  He wants more for his family, he wants that respect, and it slays him that his mother never saw him succeed like this.  There is a sweetness and love behind the mania that made me love him even as he went to extreme lengths. I feel that Rupak was very relatable, every kid let loose for the first time stretches their wings a bit... sometimes too far.  This is the time where we learn who we are and what we really want, and yet deeply ingrained is the desire to also please our family.  Even more so, it seems, in Indian culture.  It was interesting to see him slowly devolve and then remake himself.  For me, this was a five star book.   On the adult content scale, there is some sexual content, drug use and language.  None are extreme, but be advised.  I would still let my teen niece read this.  I give it a four.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It took me quite a few chapters to get into the story and adapt to the writing style which included an ever changing POV, but once I did, I found the characters and the story thoroughly entertaining. I absolutely loved the Jha family and their friends, each character was interesting and unique and added something to the story. What really made me love the book though was that the sudden life change brought on by the Jha's coming into so much money wasn't just a plot device. The real heart of the story came from the way all the characters reacted to the windfall, whether it was good or bad or even petty. The Windfall was an interesting peek at a family and a nice reminder that money doesn't always fix everything.

I have read exactly two books this year that were named windfall and both of them have been great. The latest one is The Windfall by Diksha Basu, which was just one of those books that I happen to find incredibly enjoyable. It focused on the everyday lives of the characters and how a stroke of good luck can affect one family and potentially those around them in ways perceived to be both negative and good. And guys, this book was a whole lot of fun. Given the title of this book, I knew that a large sum of money—or some other good luck—would be involved even before I read the synopsis. From the start, I had moderately high hopes for this story and wasn’t disappointed. Truly, the characters were kind of awesome, especially the Jha family and their close-knit group of friends. The Jha family was delightful to read about. I felt like Basu approached the worries felt by the characters in a realistic way that was thoroughly engrossing. I think that was my favorite part of The Windfall: how the unexpected good fortune wasn’t just something that was superficially added as an afterthought, but affected the characters in good, bad, and emotional ways. Point blank: the story was just a good one. There was something so simple and refreshing about The Windfall and how it explored the complexities of life, love, family, and change. I was thoroughly impressed by this book. Now, I’ll just sit over here and patiently wait for Basu’s next novel. Rating 4/5 Disclaimer: copy of the book was provided by First to Read (Publisher) for this review, thank you!

The Windfall by Diksha Basu was a "keeping up with the Jones" story set in India. The Jhas just recently came into millions of dollars after Mr. Jha sold a website he had made. They move from their small life in East Delhi to the richer part of town where everyone has a guard and a membership to the local club. The Jha's son is studying in America and while trying to figure out who he is and what he wants, he is failing his MBA program. The Jha's are all learning how to fit into their new lives and sometimes it gets to be too much. The characters are all well-developed and the story is entertaining, but unfortunately I did not get pulled into the story as much as I would have liked.

The Windfall is a fun, fictional tale about a family in India who comes into money. I loved the quirky characters, especially the father. What an interesting, entertaining read!

Funny, penetrating, and full of universal truths and concerns, The Windfall carries us across an ocean and tradition. The shortest summary is that the Mr. Jha sells his website for $20 million, and life style changes ensue. This isn’t exactly The Beverly Hillbillies set in Dehli, but similarities emerge. Dealing with new found wealth, encountering the snooty rich neighbors, adapting to change, and holding on to family recipes are all in play. And actually, American television informs some of the characters’ life views. Author Diksha Basu is a self-described cultural chameleon who lives in both the US and India. She also is a life plan chameleon, having been a grad student in the US, then on the corporate ladder, and later in Bollywood films. Now she is an author. One could argue that the windfall is both the money and earned truths in the novel, and by extension the outlet for expression Basu has found as an author. While the novel could have had a field day simply by pitting the haves against the somewhat haves, Basu complicates things. The very definition of value is questioned, and within that comes the specter of traditions and roles instilled by previous generations shadowing the needs of now. The novel is based primarily in Delhi, then Gurgoan, focusing on the change of fortune for Mr. and Mrs. Jha, while in Ithaca, NY, son Rupak works lethargically on both denial and an MBA. There is comparison of homely Mayur Palli to posh Gurgaon, and even to “exotic” Ithaca, which provides a lot of humor and is spot on. With all good intentions and windfall money, Mr. Jha wants to give his wife a new-fangled staycation at a nice hotel, only to be seduced out of the plan by a pricey electric shoe polisher, which winds up unused after Rich Neighbor mocks it. So much easier to just buy new shoes when old ones become scuffed, you see. Mr. Jha is frequently portrayed as an innocent. He comes from a family that has worked hard, and he has been frugal. Early in life he worked to free his widowed mother from financial dependence, even survival, upon barely accommodating relatives. Home is everything to him, as is work. One of the learned truths is that having freed up time is as detrimental as having freed up cash. Part of his conflict is brought by the Mayur Palli neighbors who define the new money as windfall, somehow unearned. Mrs. Jha values her role as a traditional wife and mother but with a modern arrangement. She is a full partner with her husband and places a premium on wellbeing. She has worked as an advocate for the rural poor, helping them make and sell crafts to earn income and some level of independence. But her families would rather she place their children in city jobs. In truth, she is not sure who or what she has been helping anymore, and she is tired of lice. The internal conflict between cultural and personal identity drives the external clashes between being Indian and being “Indian enough,” between being rich and middle class, and between rationalization and truth. Dilemmas of tradition and choice are expanded through subplots involving well drawn supporting characters. Mrs. Ray is a young, attractive widow in Mayur Palli, who suffers the indignity of having her yoga pants stolen by a voyeuristic neighbor. Women’s roles are at the fore, in this instance with Mrs. Ray being victim, upstart, and Jezebel at once. She just can’t seem to find her footing as a proper widow. Mr. and Mrs. Chopra, the Jha’s new neighbors in Gurgoan, seem the model Richie Riches Bollywood style. The Chopras know money, and Mr. Jha hopes to learn from them. For Mr. Chopra, the ultimate status symbol is his unemployed, aimless, Yeats-plagiarizing poet of a son, Johnny. Only the massively wealthy could afford such a layabout. Mrs. Chopra is occupied with playing Angry Birds and wearing as many colors, diamonds, and gold in a single outfit as possible. She really fills a room. The Chopras are quite proud of their faux and improved Sistine Chapel foyer ceiling done by a local artist. One upmanship and keeping up with the Jones’ allows laughable insights about insecurity based on securities. And there is a truly heart rending yet comical fall from grace for one character. There are many epiphanies and shifting alliances. Rupak’s moment of light brings home the theme. He brings Serena to a family event. She is a sort of frenemy, who enjoys being the ultimate Indian grad student while America and self-anointed “Face of India” when at home. She judges him as just another lazy rich kid skiving off thanks to his rich father, all the while turning a blind eye to a homeless mother. He calls her out: There are people a lot poorer than you and I don’t see you giving up your life in America and moving into a slum. Is your life the exact boundary of what’s acceptable? Anything more becomes crass, but you having a two-hundred-rupee cup of coffee at Khan Market is fine? I bet someone who couldn’t afford that could also be pretty quick to pretend to look down on it. "There is no difference between buying Tiffany jewelry or fancy coffee when casting value judgments, it is simply a matter of degree. This is not a novel about one family, culture, society, or nation. It’s about human vanity and thoughtlessness on a global level. In a funny and yet so very sad moment of conspicuous consumption disorder, a women welcomes global warming, since it drops the temperature in India, and now she can wear her lavish winter wardrobe." Basu has excelled in presenting difficult questions emphatically using fulsome dialogue and detail. We look up from reading to see what really is going on. Better yet, she does so without being preachy or one-sided. Whether read for personal pleasure or as a book club choice, this is quite a good novel. And in the works to be a TV series!

I really enjoy books that have different culture point of views and I have always loved India but for some reason I just could not get into the book. Not sure if it is becasue I just had a lot going on but usually I can't put a book down and am always intrigued as to where the book will lead & how the characters will develop. Wish I had more time to see how the book turned out but I just had no desire to finish it. I loved reading a bunch of the first to read reviews on this to see what others thought of it and it seems like I could have enjoyed this book if I gave it more effort but it just wasn't for me right now I think.

I really enjoyed this book overall. The description of Delhi was particularly enjoyable, I felt as if I was actually back there. I will say that while I was not a big fan of some of the characters in this book, I feel that may have been the actual intention of the author. That being said, even characters that I thought were fairly terrible people throughout the book did gain some slight redemption at the end. An enjoyable quick read about family, pride, and a glimpse at Indian culture. I would say it was a solid 3 1/2 out of 5 stars for me.

Windfall is a classic story of keeping up with the Joneses. The Jha's are hardworking parents to Rupak, living in a working class neighborhood in Delhi, when Mr. Jha creates and sells a website for millions of dollars. The unexpected windfall it creates leads to the couple moving to a more upscale neighborhood and Mr. Jha struggles to show off his wealth. All of the mothers from the old neighborhood vie for Mrs. Jha's time so that they can show off their eligible daughters, in hopes that Rupak will marry one of them. Mrs. Ray, a widowed friend of Mrs. Jha, also has a life-changing experience from the windfall when she meets an eligible bachelor in the Jha's new neighborhood. This was a very light, fun read. It had a bit of comedy, a bit of romance and a bit of culture. It also contained an important lesson on jealousy and being satisfied with what one has in life. Mr. Jha spends so much time trying to impress Mr. Chopra that it is hard to imagine that he has any time to enjoy himself and his new life. He is also very insensitive to his wife's discomfort with their newfound wealth. The characters were very likeable and interesting, though. I really enjoyed the story and it was a fun book to read. I would recommend it to those that enjoy books on romance, different cultures or women's fiction.

The Windfall just wasn't for me. While I did like the overall concept about how much your life would change if you suddenly had a huge financial windfall, but the story was too slow. I kept waiting for something major to happen to the Jhas and felt like nothing really did happen. The type of narration was also an issue for me. I felt like it jumped around between different people's perspectives too much for me to really feel any connection to anyone. The only one I really enjoyed reading about was Mrs. Ray. She was way more interesting than the Jhas and Chopras.

This book is very lightweight social satire. I would have preferred satire with more bite to it. Mr. Anil Jha made millions of dollars when he sold his website and now he and his wife Bindu are moving to their first house in an upscale neighborhood in Delhi and leaving their apartment and neighbors behind. Their son is going to business school in upstate New York, where he is in danger of flunking out. He can't bring himself to tell his parents about his school troubles or his American girlfriend. Mrs. Reema Ray is their friend from the old neighborhood. She is a young widow. While the Jhas in their forties are getting a chance at a fresh start, thirty something Mrs. Ray doesn't appear to have any prospects. I might have preferred the book if the main focus had been on Mrs. Ray. It appears that no matter which neighborhood you live in in Delhi, you can't escape nosy neighbors and a sad need to impress those neighbors. I liked the details about life in India, but nothing at all happens in this book. Even Mr. Jha's out of left field meltdown near the end of the book doesn't add the needed sharpness. The book is really just pleasant. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Thank you to Penguin First to Read for the opportunity to read this book in advance. I was so excited to request this and then read it, initially pulled in by the whimsical cover, and I wasn't disappointed. This is a really lovely story about an Indian family called the Jha's, from Delhi, who come into a large sum of money due to a successful Internet venture. It details their move from a lower-class Indian suburb to a beautiful, wealthy part of Delhi and the struggles and triumphs they face as they leave the old and the past behind. What I really liked about this novel was that there was no real plot. There was no ultimate climax, no hook, line and sinker. We're really just following the day-to-day lives of a family that is learning how to deal with newfound wealth that none of them could ever have dreamed of. We watch as Mr. Jha plows unabashedly full steam ahead into the life and supposed 'customs' of the rich. We watch apprehensive Mrs. Jha as she worries about leaving her familiar home and neighbors. We watch as their son Rupak lives his American dream doing an MBA at a university in New York, but doesn't fare well as everyone at home is expecting of him. The only thing I had a small problem with was near the very end, when Mr. Jha has a sort of meltdown, which I initially thought might have been some type of stroke or heart attack. That was never really explained, and I'd be curious to know what was going on there. That's the only part of this novel that felt lacking. His mental breakdown felt random and out of place because there was no explanation. It came out of nowhere and was gone just as quickly. The Windfall is a lovely, heartwarming story of a family coming to terms with who they are as individuals, as a family, as Indians, and what it means to be happy, regardless of what other people think or how other people judge.

I really loved this book! It was funny, insightful, and full of interesting characters. And the mark of a good book for me: nothing earth-shattering was happening (no murders, etc.), but I could NOT put it down. I wish I could read it again for the first time.

This is a great book. It gives you a look inside people who are trying to fit in while staying true to themselves. It shows how easy it is to get lost along the way. It shows you that change can be good, but you still need to be true to yourself. That is the only way to be truly happy. It gives you a look at what goes on inside the mind. I really enjoyed this book.

This book is the debut novel by Basu. It follows the Jha family, who live in a middle-class neighbourhood of Delhi. They live in an apartment complex where everyone knows one another and the nosy neighbours are always butting into everyone else’s business. Mr. Jha then sells his company for US$20 million. This is the ‘windfall’. As a result, he and Mrs. Jha purchase a much bigger, much fancier house in a rich neighbourhood on the other side of Delhi. The story starts when the Jhas are preparing to tell their neighbours about their impending move. The story also loosely follows the Jhas’ son’s life in Ithaca, USA, where he is pursuing an MBA. Mrs Ray, who seems to be Mrs Jha’s only real friend, also gets her fair share of the story. The Jhas believe that they are moving up in the world, but is their new neighbourhood all it’s cracked up to be? I got this novel from First to Read and was really excited to have it. As I’ve said before, however, I do find it frustrating to read on my iPad or cellphone, but this really is a ‘first world problem’. The truth is, I just really don’t like the backlight. Anyway… The premise of this book sounded really interesting as well as amusing. However, I must be honest, while I enjoyed parts of this book, I didn’t enjoy it on the whole. I found the plot weak and the humour repetitive and boring. I am not sure if the author was perhaps trying to make a subtle point or the novel was nuanced in ways that I missed, but I found it to be rather flat. My rating: 2 stars If you like this post, please follow my pages on Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads. Happy reading! The Paperback Reader©

Windfall is about a middle-aged couple with a grown son studying in America who make it big and decide to move to a rich neighborhood. The story details their move from different perspectives, including their new neighbors in the affluent neighborhood. I usually love books about different cultures, however, this was basically Indians trying to live and act out the American dream. I found the men irritatingly superficial and shallow and the women not very likable. This book had some cute parts in it but overall I would not recommend it.

Mild and pleasant tale of Indian family that receives sudden wealth and realizes that their lives aren't suddenly better. Jane Austin-like feel without the insight or parallels to larger audiences; in general this story falls a tad flat.

Enjoyable comedy about an Indian family as they adjust to a sudden extreme accumulation of wealth after the sale of the patriarch's business. First comes a move to the better side of town and every decision about the house becomes a challenge to meet the expectations of 'what is fashionable or expected for their new situation in life. Even the son, who is in graduate school finds himself having to adjust his life style to meet his family's expectations. Great characters among all the neighbors and several extremely funny scenes give it the potential for a great movie.

Thank you for the advanced digital copy of Windfall by Diksha Basu in return for my honest review. I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked it, but I didn't love it. The book was an easy read. It was enjoyable, but fairly predictable. Great change is coming to the Jha family. Mr. Jha recently sold his website for twenty million dollars. He and his wife are moving to an upscale neighborhood. He is consumed with his new found wealth and his desire to be accepted. Unfortunately, they no longer fit in with their prior neighbors who are resentful and their new community which is standoffish. Their son is in graduate school in the United States, dating an American woman, unbeknownst to his parents. There were a few characters that I liked, mostly the women. Although, on the one hand I could understand the use of the suffix of Mr. and Mrs. because it represented a cultural distinction, on the other hand, I found not referring to the characters by their first name made for a stilted and distracting read. There were some funny and poignant moments, but not memorable.

This novel is about how to climb to the top in India. A funny look at life in that country, complete with keeping up with the Jonses. Everything one family will do to stay one step ahead. The Windfall is funny, truthfull, and a little sad. Pretty much your average American family.

A sweet little story. I really enjoyed the descriptions of Delhi and the quirky characters and dialogue. However I would say that Mrs. Jha's character was the best drawn, the rest did not seem to be fleshed out that well. I also couldn't understand Rupak's motivations - it all seemed to tie up too neatly at the end. A quick, easy read though - thanks Penguin for the ARC!

Charming! I haven't read much (any?) fiction about modern day India, and I found the perspective fresh and engaging. The story is simple enough - the Jha's are grappling with a sudden increase in wealth and the positive/negative aspects it has on their lives and their personalities. The characters are quirky, and there is an abundance of hilariously awkward moments that made me laugh out loud. (I particularly enjoyed Mr. Jha's "humblebrag" competitions with his new neighbor.) There is an interesting juxtaposition of generations here, and although the material is sometimes borderline TOO breezy, it offers some interesting social commentary on the evolution of Indian customs and culture. A solid debut novel - I look forward to reading more from Basu!

Usually I stick with a book for about a 100 pages to truly get into it before giving up on it. But somehow this book wasn't for me. The writing is great, however.

The Windfall did a great job of immersing me in an unfamiliar and compelling world, juggling the various characters' POVs with precise and enjoyable prose. While I had little to no idea about the kind of India that Basu described, I had full confidence that she knew exactly what she was talking about. The setting is colorful and diverse, the details of the street life and the food were exciting, and there is no exoticism or fetishizing here. However, everything works out too neatly in the end. While the problems and struggles of the nouveau riche are certainly just as human as they are entertaining, the characters in this book never face any truly dire circumstances. The story remains light, never dipping below a certain level of socioeconomic status in India. Still, this was an interesting story, and I enjoyed it while it lasted.

I really loved this book, I couldn't put it down, however it took me nearly a hundred pages to get to that point. I honestly wondered if I should stop reading it, but I am so glad I didn't. This book was just cute! I think it was very insightful to the old adage money can't buy happiness. I loved the Jha family story and the friends and frenemies that surrounded them. I wanted a bit more continuity of story but I think in the end it wrapped up nearly perfectly. I think this book is a fun summer read and while it may start slow, it is over too fast and finishes strong. Thank you First to Read and Penguin for the ARC.

Thanks to Penguin Random House First to Read program for an ARC of this book. This was a light, fun read that was surprisingly introspective. If you get a "windfall" would you be happy with the life changes that you make - or would you find yourself pining for your old life? This is the dilemma facing the Jha family in East Delhi, India when Mr. Jha sells his website for a large sum of money. This book is full of likable characters and a storyline that is easy to follow. It is a quick, enjoyable read.

Quick enjoyable read. This story for me is about what happens when material things become more important than everything else in life. Mr Jha was so busy trying to impress his former and new neighbors with his wealth that he lost track of what was important...his wife and son.

Must be me. I didn't like this book. I wanted to but just couldn't.

Light and enjoyable. I expected a more whimsical story judging merely from the cover art, but the one that I received was fairly introspective, which is not a complaint. Although not a massive amount happens after the Jhas received the titular windfall, it is interesting to see the different ways that each family member is affected by the sudden change in lifestyle that money allows. I was most engaged in following the journeys of Mrs. Jha and Mrs. Ray, but found Rupak to be lacking depth and little more than a stereotype. I appreciated getting a closer look at Indian culture and customs through the Jha family's story.

I enjoyed this book, nice read. What happens when you receive a "Windfall?" Mr. and Mrs. Jha finds out after Mr. Jha sells his website - he is ready to "move up" to "upper" class, but Mrs. Jha likes her life and her home. Several supporting characters being great supporting story line - their son, Rupak who has become too American and has forgotten why he is at college. Mrs. Ray's romance and new neighbors who appear very upper society. You maybe "upper" class but you still have problems - money doesn't fix common sense and fix everyday problems. Thanks to First To Read - Penguim Random House for the ARC of "The Windfall".

The Windfall gives an interesting perspective on day to day life in India. The characters demonstrate the difficulties and pkeasures of a sudden change in income. The topic of entitled children with rich parents is also explored. The book is rich with the details of the tiny details of life in India. Clothes food, and acceptable behavior are all included. I found myself reading it whenever I had the chance which is my hallmark of a good book. I just wish it had been longer as I really enjoyed the read. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to explore life in modern day India culture.

Imagine keeping up with the Joneses Indian style! That is the plight of the Jhas family, an upwardly mobile middle age Indian couple and their college age son. My Jhas has recently sold his website for 20 million dollars, an unfathomable amount as he earned about 200 dollars a month. Now to spend it. A new home, a new car, and a desire to show how much he has to his new neighborhood. The story revolves around the family trying to understand their new position in life as people with money. It is fun, and funny as they navigate this new road, most of which they get wrong. And yet, while getting it wrong, it shows their kind hearts and compelling personalities. Well written, it showcases our human frailties regardless of country, and the desire to belong, wherever you are.

I really liked the idea of assimilation into society that is presented throughout this novel. When the Jhas become wealthy, they have to learn to think differently. They find that even the wealthy seek others for guidance when it comes to acceptability for purchases and behaviors. It seems like there was a lot of judgment in the middle classes as well. It is interesting to see the son go through the same type of pressure as he determines a future wife and life. I found this book to be comical and well thought out. I would be interested in reading additional novels from this author.

This is the perfect summer book. It's fun, clever, and wickedly amusing. Basu has a really sharp eye, and this would be a great read for anyone who loves books about "rich people problems." If you enjoyed THE NEST or CRAZY RICH ASIANS, this would be a good readalike.


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