I just read your wonderful BOLLYWOOD BEAUTY and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am originally from Fiji and it brought back so many memories, especially those relating to the xmases with the family. The tastes and smells were so vivid. thank you so much for that. (Note to self, book a trip to Fiji asap).
jeanette, auckland NZ
I have just finished your novel and I loved it. Really loved it. It was the first book I have read in ages where I actually couldn't wait to get back into it. Thanks for giving me a laugh, and for making me feel nostalgic about my student days, and for reminding me of the importance of my female friendships.
Congratulations and well done. We fiji indians are so proud of you. Your book has gathered much interest, [I know a girl] called Keshni and people think the book is based on her, calling her non-stop today and yesterday.
I have to commend you on an excellent first novel... looking forward to ur future endeavours. I found your novel immensely entertaining and very close to reality... a lot of it hit pretty close to home and i especilly love how you conveyed the true essence of our "kaindia"-ness! Love your novel....many times I couldn't pull myself away from it.
preeti, location not stated
I bought the book two weeks ago and finished it in a day!!!! Very funny...
It was nice to see that you had dedicated it to me, albeit the spelling mistake.
just wanted to let you know i have just finished reading your novel. it was
lovely. lot's of things reminded me of how we (the cousins) all grew up here
in melbourne (parents are anglo-indian). it was a great read, i look forward to more.
Just wanted to congratulate [you] on The Bollywood Beauty. It made me laugh, cringe, laugh, roll my eyes, laugh, crave jalebis, laugh, miss the Builders, laugh! It was such a fantastic read Shalini. thank you. Kesh is a girl after my own wayward heart.
As a fellow Fijian-Indian, I feel very proud of your achievement. Finally a novel by a Fijian-Indian writer and I think it was long overdue.
Finished your book last night. I can tell how good and enjoyable a book is by how much it makes me laugh, by how many times my eyes tear up and my sense of urgency to finish it. Your book made me feel all of these things - thoroughly enjoyable, really really good. You should be very proud - it is an excellent book.
LOVED your book and was very moved by the story of the two cousins at the end.
kate, new york
I must say you have done an excellent job. You are such a good writer. I can relate to many instances in the book in particular the family activities... Some parts remided me of our visits to Fiji in the 70s.
pravindra, new zealand
I must say Iam proud you are an ex Jasper student. I loved the book. A bit like looking at our own lives really - I live in Sydney and have been for the last 14 years. My 14 year old daughter is reading the book at the moment. Keep up the good work. It is so encouraging to see our mob from back home doing so well here.
I loved your book. I even shed a lone tear for happiness at the end !
... while scanning the Dymocks bookshelves I discovered your Bollywood Beauty. Being a Bollywood junky I picked it up more out of curiosity than anything else, but after reading the first two pages I was completely hooked and had to buy it. I finished it the same night (1:09am)!
I was born in Fiji and I have truckloads of family there- I could relate to so many things in your book. It made me laugh and appreciate my background even more...meddling aunties, protective parents, annoying cousins and all. You have a wonderful style of writing and I hope you'll have more books out shortly...can't wait
I finished reading your book last week. It was very good. I could "smell" Fiji in it when you describe the Christmas time and the wedding. Congratulations and may the best of life come to you.
Couldn't put it down for the last half - it was riveting. Just love all the tension of it, the humour, your rich characters, and the evocative cultural imagery. Sometimes I felt like I could smell and taste and touch everything you were describing. And can definitely relate to some of the cross-cultural madness - which I grew up with as well.
I can so relate... my lord the whole new country and university scene with silly clothes and feeling so dejected and alone... This books is like life of so many of us gals who left Fiji and came over for studies.... so refreshing that it is written fro Indo-fijian perspective.... Love it.
Very colourful (and not just the cover!) A most enjoyable read, not to mention an insight into your favourite drinking venues. The whole book was fantastic, but I especially loved the family descriptions, and the parts set in Fiji.