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Blog Tour: Still Lives, Reshma Ruia

I am so delighted to be on the tour for this read, thanks to Renard Press for having me.

Detangling the plot: Young, handsome and contemptuous of his father’s traditional ways, PK Malik leaves Bombay to start a new life in America. Stopping in Manchester to visit an old friend, he thinks he sees a business opportunity, and decides to stay on. Now fifty-five, PK has fallen out of love with life. His business is struggling and his wife Geeta is lonely, pining for the India she’s left behind.

One day PK crosses the path of Esther, the wife of his business competitor, and they launch into an affair conducted in shabby hotel rooms, with the fear of discovery forever hanging in the air. Still Lives is a tightly woven, haunting work that pulls apart the threads of a family and plays with notions of identity.

Bobs and Books honest review:

This is so understated in its simplicity, that it actually leaves a long lasting feeling and is so incredibly thought provoking. A well thought out blend of characters, all flawed and complicated in their own way- some more than others. The details matter, and I got so absorbed in the story.

On the face of it, this books comes across like it features all the stereotypes. The hard working husband, bored housewife and troubled teenage boy. But it is so much more than that and it takes only a few pages to realise this. The added dimension of the theme of belonging, pining for another country, the business trying to survive, all shape and create this world to be much more conflicted, complicated- but primarily real.

I've read a few short stories by this author and have always been impressed. I was so excited to read a new novel, and pleased at how much I enjoyed it. This is a storyteller that is one to watch, I'm sure of it.

Clever storytelling with vivid characters.

About the author:

Resma Ruia is an award-winning author and poet. She has a PhD and Master’s in Creative Writing from Manchester

University, as well as a Bachelor and Master’s from the London School of Economics. Her first novel, Something Black in the Lentil Soup, was described in the Sunday Times as ‘a gem

of straight-faced comedy’. She has published a poetry collection, A Dinner Party in the Home Counties, and a short story collection, Mrs Pinto Drives to Happiness. Her work has appeared in international anthologies and journals, and she has had work commissioned by the BBC. She is the co-founder of The Whole Kahani – a writers’ collective of British South Asian writers. Born in India and brought up in Rome, her writing explores the preoccupations of those who possess a multiple sense of belonging.

Out 29th June

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