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Publisher's Summary

A heartfelt comedy of manners, Diksha Basu's debut novel unfolds the story of a family discovering what it means to "make it" in modern India.

For the past 30 years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha's lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they'd settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son's acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all.

The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters.

Hilarious and wise, The Windfall illuminates with warmth and charm the precariousness of social status, the fragility of pride, and, above all, the human drive to build and share a home. Even the rich, it turns out, need to belong somewhere.

©2017 Diksha Basu (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Basu's debut novel is a funny, deceptively light treatment of money and manners in modern-day Delhi." (Kirkus)

"In her debut novel, Basu sprinkles her send-up of social mobility in modern India with gentle indulgence for her characters, presenting the foibles of the Jhas with humanity and humor." (Booklist)

"This is a delightful comedy of manners with a lot of heart...the novel's universal theme and very entertaining story should appeal to a wide variety of readers." (Library Journal)

"Soneela Nankani's quick, sardonic narration lovingly channels the outlandish and often comedic mishaps that befall the newly wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Jha.... Between the humor, Nankani provides a thoughtful voice to characters who are struggling, such as the Jhas' son, who is failing college, and their widowed neighbor, who may be ready for a second chance at love." (AudioFile)

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Average Customer Ratings

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A Struggle

I've struggled through 4 hours of listening so far and find that I can't continue. I'm throwing in the towel on this book. I guess I am not the target audience as I just don't find the story funny. To me, the characters are presented from a distance--at arms length--so that it is difficult to feel connected to them. Without that important link the story seems shallow and becomes boring. I also wonder if a different narrator could have changed the tone and saved the book for me? Really it could have been set anywhere in the world--place doesn't seem to matter. It's mostly about wealth--money, money, money. Ugh.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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What was the story?

The reader was great but that’s about it. I kept waiting for punch or twist in the story but there wasn’t any. A waste of credit for this book. Annoying characters too.

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  • ~A
  • 07-25-17

a lovely book

wow, I had no idea just how disruptive wealth can be. and as funny too! The different viewpoints from a variety of characters were hilarious. the reader experiences each without the author imposing her judgment. this is a rare quality. Each character is truly the main character of Their Own Story. the author holds their hands through the ups and downs of life, without falling into cliches.

i especially enjoyed seeing life through The Eyes of Indian as well as American characters and the assumptions we all make. it was something Universal about that. Rather than getting to know each other humans tend to fill in the blanks until Calamity comes. we got to see both sides of unaware versus vulnerable ... and enjoying the Follies that ensue.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

This was a very entertaining book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the narration was excellent.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So Delhi!

A very amusing listen bringing about a lot of nostalgia - from apsara pencils to interactions between friends and relatives that I've heard.

The accents were done quite well, accurate and not over dramatic.

However, a lot of the pronunciation of the Indian words wasn't on point - yet it doesn't take away from the overall story and performance.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book, sprinkled woth humor

This is a delightful book of a famuly in Delhi, India, who ju9upon sudden richea. The family moves from a lower middle class section of town to the rich upper class neighborhood of Gurgpan. Ms. Basu highlights the emotional struggle in this move, highlighting the human elements with poise and grace.

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Masterful narration by Ms Nankani.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun and easy listen

This is a domestic comedy taking place in India and the U.S. The book explores themes such as what community really means, high parental hopes for the next generation to be successful and the pressure that brings, and how money and status can change us. There are many laugh out loud moments, and the characters are all likable in their own ways. The father, Anil, is my favorite. In some ways he seems overly naive, yet his positive and curious outlook on life make him lovable if not a little maddening at times.

Parts of the story are weak, and the ending a little too pat, however the author had me rooting for her characters happiness.

The narrator is great, giving each character a distinct voice and personality, and she switches effortlessly between them. I recommend this for people who enjoy family dramas and those who like to immerse themselves into a different culture.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful