Goodreads blurb: I’ll make my sisters squirm like well-salted earthworms. I won’t sell. Even my jutti wont sell. And if I die na, then even my gosht won’t sell!
The late Binodini Thakur had been very clear that she would never agree to sell her hissa in her Bauji’s big old house on Hailey Road. And her daughter Bonu, is determined to honor her mother’s wishes.
But what to do about her four pushy aunts who are insisting she sell? One is bald and stingy, one is jobless and manless, one needs the money to ‘save the nation’ and one is stepmother to Bonu’s childhood crush-brilliant young Bollywood director Samar Vir Singh, who promised BJ upon his deathbed that he would get the house sold, divvy the money equally and end all the bickering within the family.
The first word baby Bonu ever spoke was ‘Balls’ and indeed, she is ballsy, bullshit-intolerant, brave and beautiful. But is she strong enough to weather emotional blackmail by the spadefull? Not to mention shady builders, wily politicians, spies, lies and the knee-buckling hotness of Samar’s intense eyes? Sharply observed and pulse-quickeningly romantic, this is Anuja Chauhan writing at her sparkling best!
If I had to describe The House that BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan in one word, it would be “juicy”; yes, you read it right, juicy would be the word that would best encompass all the characters, situations and emotions this book deals with. Writing with the panache of a mega serial / Bollywood screenwriter and the humor that probably is inherently Anuja Chauhan all the way, this book for sure is a must-read for anybody who has already read her earlier work and are fans of hers. As for me, given that this was the first book of hers that I have read, I am making a beeline to get my hands on the rest of her work and devour them with as much gusto as I did this one, if not more.
As the blurb states, the main narrative of this book revolves around the house that ‘The Pricey Thakur Girls’ have inherited from their father BJ. Actually make that four sisters and one common niece who have inherited the property and are now sitting on a potential truckload of money given that a builder now wants to purchase the property for quite an astronomical sum of money. However, things are not quite as straightforward as they seem, and BJ’s brother seems hell bent on making the lives of the sisters miserable with diabolical plans of his own. Do the sisters manage to sell the house and get their money forms the main spine of the narrative around which the more interesting and juicy (I am using this word quite a bit now, ain’t I?) bits of the story are woven around.
Throw in some interesting childhood politics between all the sisters, a sizzling romance between the niece and her step cousin, a movie being made by the said step cousin which is based on BJ’s story, yet another sizzling childhood crush between one of the sisters and the builder, and lo and behold, you have all the ingredients of this potboiler of a book. Suffice to say that the author doesn’t let the pace slow down even for a bit and has enough action happening with all the principal characters (who are ‘characters’ in every sense of the word) throughout the 400 pages of the book.
With enough twists and turns built into the narrative, Anuja Chauhan would make even seasoned screenwriters squirm in shame with the expertise with which each and every one of these twists and turns add more ‘masala’ to the narrative. She knows what works, and more importantly, she know when they work well, and that to me, is where she scores really high when it comes to this book. As I said earlier, I surely am going to grab the rest of her work and surely enjoy them as much as I did this one.
A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in return for a honest and unbiased review.