Book Review: Only WHEAT NOT WHITE
Author: Varsha Dixit
Rating: Three and a half
A spicy romance, blue ogre lover, a 20-something woman traipse awkwardly and cannot control her mouth and a sister whose life is in tatters. Only Wheat Not White where author Varsha Dixit not only cook but whips a storm in the US of A, the land of limitless possibility. Only Wheat Not White looks at romance, family and community life with a quirky eye, redefining the plot that will make you laugh your lungs out. The characters in the book are easily relatable which makes it a salty, light and breezy like peppermint read.
What if following your heart means failing your family? Eila Sood leaves India for the U.S., hoping to unite her family and mend fences with her estranged older sister. She soon learns that her sister’s intercultural marriage, which outraged their parents, has hit rock bottom. To help pay the bills, Eila accepts an accounting job at a strip club, working for the fascinating yet infuriating Brett Wright. As their friendship and mutual desire builds, Eila chooses keeping family peace over following her heart. After Brett misinterprets her fears and accuses Eila of prejudice, his ex-girlfriend steps in to offer solace. Eila realizes that whichever choice she makes will rip her life apart. What will Eila choose? Love of her life or a life ruled by tradition? Fall in love with love, in this steamy saga from a best-selling romance author.
Credit: Goodreads/Only Wheat Not White
It’s a golden rule, ‘Only Wheat Not White’ in Eila’s world but everything she plans for, goes topsy-turvy. It’s a tale of complicated lives, where Eila not only finds friendship in the unlikeliest place but, she becomes a match fixer for the White Babe and the Wheat dude at work. Yes, our Eila cannot keep her mouth shut for long. She is mugged, saved by the American brother-in-law and is kissed out of the blue by the ogre. The book has family drama, love, friendship, sensuality and an anti-climax.
What is romance without humor and one-liners? Drab and boorish, you’ll argue and rightly so! Varsha Dixit effortless humor flits in the narration with utmost ease which breaks the monotony but never the flow. Varsha takes you in this world where you can pop in and out for a break through the funniest lines but you can’t stay away for long.
That’s power writing. It marries well with an inherent reality of life that touches the human sense of observation and twists and turns life often takes.
“Eila had come to realize that people working in strip clubs are not complicated but their lives are. Well whose isn’t?”
The blue ogre dude is one of a kind and unusual character who can pass for a jerk, doesn’t shy in kissing, plays his cards well and Eila finds her own match in him. The character Brett, nah, I prefer blue ogre jerkiness is quite something with his tongue-in-cheek words who can turn the moist boisterous into ice-cold silence.
“…sardonically, he replied, ‘Lisa is working emergency only. She is due to give birth anytime in the next two weeks.’
“..I’m not the father.”
The one-liners are terrific when it’s coupled with jealousy that makes Elia one of a kinda character, basking in her own reflection but will get jealousy pang not on someone else move but her own doing.
“My reluctant, rude, one-of-a-kind knight in shining armor. Except he isn’t mine.”
Or, this one which is one of my favorite that makes humor flawless and effortless in execution:
“Then, she stopped and turned around, ‘Food for thought! What’s the similarity between getting laid and laid off!” You need intelligence to steer this line to perfection.
In a nutshell, Only Wheat Not White has everything that can be beautifully adapted on the silver screen where the whole Indian family chip in at the restaurant owned by Bret and it’s narrated with an Indian feel how a community can pull the extraordinary to save the day. Mrs. Das is one such character, who mutters religious verses that echo our own Indian raga to attain Moksha. The book may have been set in US with White not Grey Love but the soul is Indian.
Only Wheat Not White is fast paced with lives revolving around love, break up and complexities make it an endearing, saccharine affair but there are few loopholes. The Satsang religiously followed by a modern woman and the matchmaking fixation makes it cliché to a certain extent. The break up between Sheila and Steve is also quite abrupt for that matter.
Only Wheat and Not White is the book that you need to break the monotony of life. It has all the ingredients to make love, romance and beyond, a spicy affair. The sibling bond between Eila and Sheela, gently exploring the characters and nuanced conflict is one of the high points of the book. The climax is heart-pounding and endearing where Brett chases Eila but she shamelessly tells the cab driver, ‘It’s a rental’. The hot pursuit, both ways with Sheela’s cupid attempt till the end reminds us of the Hindi romance churned in the early 90s.