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Publisher's Summary

"An endearing tale of love, loss, and healing...." - The US Review of Books

The Kite Runner meets Monsoon Wedding during revolution in the Middle East. The story of an Indian woman adopting her son as she brings her estranged family back together in fictionalized Sudan and Calcutta.

In 2045, Naina Ranjeeva writes a letter to recount the journey that led to the adoption of her son Nikhil. Decades earlier, she stumbles upon a lead on the location of her aunt, who had disappeared when Naina was just a child. After her aunt's disappearance, Naina's family also completely lost contact with her beloved younger cousin, Nitu. With her aunt's location in hand, Naina takes the first step toward locating her cousin by traveling to the Republic of East Africa to search for her aunt. Her journey eventually leads her to Calcutta where she finds her cousin Nitu and his three-year-old son Nikhil.

After two decades apart, the family starts to bridge the gap caused by years of separation, within the backdrop of political turmoil and revolution in East Africa.

©2015 Puja Guha (P)2017 Puja Guha

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't stop listening

The story is based in the future when a mother decides the time has come to inform her adopted son who is about to become a father himself on how he became to be adopted and the family relationships.
Naina Ranjeeva does this through a letter telling the story of the past in present time. She includes the social unrest and political situations of that time. It takes a bit getting used to in the beginning to the back and forth of the present and future but ones you get used to that the book is amazing. The narrator did a wonderful job and the way it was read you could just visualize the feelings and emotions going through Naina as she tries to put this letter together for her son.
This story had me completely hooked. After finishing it I fell like having a good cry. The loss of missed changes was so real that it touches the reader emotionally.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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This too is too long.

What did you like best about The Confluence? What did you like least?

This is the second Puja Guha book that I have listened to and this has the same positives and negatives as the other book (Ahriman). All the characters and locales are well built and are extremely relatable. You listen to their story and you identify with bits n pieces of them. It draws you in and you get invested into the outcome. The story being what it is - a mother' s letter to her adopted son, revealing family history.... is sorta emotional. I was getting a mix of Lion and "How I Met Your Mother" vibes.

And this too is a bit too long. There are elements that I felt didn't quite contribute anything to the main plot. At several places, it went on a tangent that didn't need to be there. The book could've been much shorter and better paced.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

See above.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narration was very slow. I typically listen to my books at 1.5x. Even then it was slow.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Interesting story in need of editing

Spoiler alert? In a nutshell, this was a mother's explanation to her adopted adult son of the whys and hows he came to be adopted and her big reveal that she is his biological . . . first cousin once removed? (second cousin?)? The telling did not require over seven hours, even given that the narration was far too slow (I listened at 1.5 and it was still too slow). There were oddities in the plot: the story starts with an account of the narrator's difficult relationship with her new mother-in-law, and then that part of the story is dropped completely. The story takes place in various locales: Calcutta, somewhere in the U.S., quick mentions of Paris . . . and then for some reason, the author felt it necessary to create a totally fictitious country, East Africa, complete with its own culinary treats. I think the author has some talent for story telling, but major editing would have helped this story enormously. I'm not sorry I listened, but I wouldn't rush to listen to another book by the author or narrator. I requested and received a copy of this audiobook from Audioboom in return for an objective review.

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  • Vicky
  • GA, United States
  • 01-29-18

Family Overcoming Global and Emotional Distances

In The Confluence, Guha brings together the diverging members of a fictitious extended family in a global world. At the beginning of the story the main character, Naina, is writing a letter to her grown adopted son to explain the details of his unknown birth family. She’d been living in Paris, and went to meet her Mother-in-law to be in New York after getting engaged. Since her In-laws were in politics, they did a background check to know how to spin her past before the tabloids got hold of anything. Inadvertently, the investigation pulled up the detail that her Mother’s sister had abandoned her husband and son.

So, realizing how traumatic this separation from family was to her Mother, Naina travels first to East Africa to locate the missing Aunt and hear her story. Then, she travels to Kolkata India to locate the child her Aunt had abandoned, now grown with a son of his own. In reconnecting, Naina finds herself in a revolution, with bombs (both emotional and real) dropping and events spiral beyond what she ever dreamed would happen. In the end, it is her cousin’s young 3 year old that she adopts and raises. The confluence of family lost, though born of pain and loss, results in a beautiful peace and happiness for her and her loved ones.

Puja Guha has an ability to force communication between the characters in the story by separating the reader from the events that take place. It is this distance from events that are so integral to the story that creates the sense of lost time, and pain that you feel as you read. With each event, you realize the character should have been there, but instead they must learn of the event from a distance. It really is a good way of getting the point across, and I didn’t miss the car chases and gun fights typical of action stories. After all, it’s a relationship drama, not an action movie.

I requested and received a free copy of the Audible version for review purposes. The narration was done by  Yael Eylat-Tanaka with a most enjoyable authentic accent. Once I’d started reading I couldn’t put it down. The recording quality was not great. But, the quality of the reader and the impact of the story made me ignore the audio quality. If not for that, I’d probably have given it a 5 star rating. I do recommend the story for readers who enjoy relationship stories. Puja Guha is an author sure to have upcoming literary success.

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Bernie's review

Where does The Confluence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right under the Game of Throne series; The narrator made a good storey even better.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Nitu, In the end he accepted his fate and handled his business.

What does Yael Eylat-Tanaka bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I liked hearing her voice which I would not have experienced if I had just read the book. Her voice made me want to keep listening.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Family first for life, even unto death

Any additional comments?

I received the audio book for free for an honest review. I honestly enjoyed the book. The narrator had a very pleasant, easy to listen to voice that helped me to experience every emotion that was conveyed in this storey. The main character Naina details the circumstances surrounding her sons unusual adoption in a letter written to him. I haven't read a book like this before which is a big plus for me. I recommend this read.