Those Delicious Letters by Sandeepa Datta Mukherjee
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Price: Rs. 299 INR(Paperback), Rs. 175 INR(Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/36KOa6F
My take on the book:
Shubhalakshmi Sengupta aka Shubha, a Bengali woman residing in the US with her husband Sameer and two daughters just turned forty. To dedicate more time for her kids, Shubha has quit her successful career as an architect and is now a co-founder of an upcoming publishing house. As she grapples with cold behavior from her husband and a growing distance in their marriage, comparison and critique from friends who have their dream jobs, Shubha receives inland letters from an unknown woman — letters addressed to a certain ‘Moni’, granddaughter of this lady from India.
The lady who now has issues remembering day-to-day events intends to hand over her treasured Bengali recipes to Moni before her memory might give up on her. As each letter comes with the lady recounting her life events and one yummy recipe attached, Shubha who was never a serious cook, now starts trying her hands at this mystery woman’s recipes. Everyone who taste Shubha’s food are extremely impressed and Shubha finds a new hidden talent in middle of her otherwise boring routine. Will Shubha be able to find about the sender of these letters and how will these letters change her life forms the rest of the story.
Don’t we all love the trousseau, jewelry, and of course wisdom passed on in the family, especially from our grandparents. Imagine we receive treasured recipes from strangers along with their life memories — that is exactly the thought this book is built on. The story works on multiple levels — the idea of Shubha re-building her life through food, the similarity between lives of Shubha and the mystery sender and how Shubha molds her life with inspiration from those old memories she reads in the letters, the suspense of the sender’s identity, the elaborate recipes shared at end of each letter. The traditions and culture of Bengali life as seen through the sender’s eyes, the Bengali delicacies, the Bengali calendar year for the festivities — everything about the Bengali way of life is well captured in the story.
Even for a person who would have never cooked in their life, Shubha’s cooking adventures will prompt to try their hand. A cookbook with traditional food recipes, a heartwarming story of a middle aged woman discovering herself through food, a trip of nostalgia to the Bengali life in the past — this story is a complete package of all these emotions and hence highly recommended!