When Jenn Adler returns from a year in India, she has a surprise for her parents: a young guru from Bangalore whom she intends to marry. Her father, Paul, is wary of this beggar Jenn has brought home who, he suspects, is conning his much-loved daughter while her mother, Maggie, is frightened that this alien stranger will steal away her only child, her focus in life. In the months leading up to the backyard wedding, Maggie is forced to reevaluate her virtues as she casts about for support, and Paul faces an unexpected threat at work one that Maggie could help him meet, if he would only ask. But even with these distractions, the two parents are focused on one primary question: Can they convince their daughter she is making a terrible mistake before the wedding takes place?”
Here’s a book I read in May, but wasn’t able to type out my review until right now. Real estate is booming in Florida right now and I’m a real estate closer. Appetite by Sheila Grinnell is listed under Women’s Fiction and specifically under “contemporary women”, so it peaked my curiosity right out of the box back when we got our May reading from BookSparks as part of the Summer Reading Challenge. (I tried to read the books in the order they were received and that’s why this one got pushed to the bottom of the stack.)
The story involved in Appetite revolves around a daughter getting married and how it can change the entire family. The daughter in this case is Jenn Adler who has returned home after spending a year in India. Along with returning home, she shares an announcement that she is getting married. Her parents, Maggie and Paul do not approve of this wedding at all and do not approve of Jenn’s fiancé, Arun.
As the story progresses, readers learn more about what led to Jenn leaving home in the first place. We readers also learn about the secrets that both of the parents, Maggie and Paul keep from each other. As I was reading this book, I kept thinking how it was kind of sad that neither parent could see how happy Jenn is because they are busy being miserable. Maggie is fearful of Arun while Paul is suspect of him, and all the while Jenn is just in love.
This book is about that kind of tricky situation, and has an interesting and suspenseful additional plot line. The ending turns out to be bittersweet and how an appetite for anything can change a family for good. I kept trying to figure out the title to this book while I was reading it and wondering how it related to the story, but by the time I turned the last page, I completely understood why it was the perfect name for this book!
This is one of those great summer reads – bring it to the beach or stay in on a rainy day and you’ll breeze through it cover to cover! I believe this is Ms. Grinell’s first novel, and I’ll be one of those people eager to catch her future novels!
Toward the end of her forty-year career as a creator of science museums, Sheila Grinell began to write fiction. Born in a taxi in Manhattan, she studied at the Bronx High School of Science, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkeley.
Ms. Grinell lives in Phoenix with her husband and dog.
I received a complimentary hardbound copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks as part of the 2016 Summer Reading Challenge in exchange for this post, which is my honest review and unbiased opinion.