What did I love about Arva Bhavnagarwala’s debut “A Little Bit of Love?” Well… Short answer – Everything!!
Read further for my long answer…
A Little Bit of Love is not just a romantic story. It’s a story where “love” comes to life in all its forms. Arva has woven a memorable and refreshing tale. It is such a relief to read a story where Muslim characters are not portrayed per the tainted Bollywood lens.
Afrah, the central character, is an ambitious, resilient, loving, and friendly young woman. She is a career-oriented woman and wishes to be financially independent. Her dream results in frequent squabbles with her mother, who wants her daughter to “settle down.” Luckily for Afrah, her father supports her dreams. She has no plans of getting married, until one day when fate brings Sadiq, a medical student, into her life. And thus begins a sweet and memorable relationship between the lead characters.
Arva is a master storyteller, and it is hard to believe this is her debut. What makes this story a success is the detailed and authentic portrayal of the city and its people. Her narration reflects the true spirit of Mumbai. The local trains, monsoon, life in chawls, roadside eateries, the struggles of the earning class, and dreams of the young generation–she has paid keen attention to every tiny detail. A terrible tragedy that rocked the city plays an important role in the story. Thankfully, the main protagonists are as resilient as the city herself and learn to thrive despite the shock and disaster.
Not just Afrah and Sadiq, the other characters are equally well-sketched too. Afrah’s relationship with her parents is quite different from what Sadiq shares with his. The difference is depicted clearly and, as a reader; I could appreciate the difference in parenting style.
The story is narrated in the First person dual POV. The alternating POV works well in taking the story forward, but the voices of both characters are not clearly distinct from each other.
Familial bonding, sibling relationship, friendship, career, goals, and dreams are the other themes at the heart of this beautiful story.
I can’t recommend this book enough! Pick up “A Little Bit of Love” today, and thank me later :)
Wordsopedia Rating 4.4/5
Thanks to Arva for gifting me a review copy. My review is honest and voluntary.
|Title: A Little Bit of Love
|Author: Arva Bhavnagarwala
|Publisher: Shaherazad Shelves
|Publication date: September 5, 2023
|No. of Pages: 284
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About the author
Arva Bhavnagarwala is a pediatrician, a writer, and a mother to two boys based in Mumbai, India. When not seeing patients or being patient with her sons, she loves to scribble a few words here and there. These words then form stories and she gets an adrenaline rush when these stories connect with the readers. Her short stories have found their homes in various anthologies and literary magazines like Active Muse, Woman’s Era, and The Hooghly Review.
A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE is her debut novel.
Arva loves to travel despite her unpredictable motion sickness. Liars and latecomers irk her. She prefers chai over coffee, and loves potatoes in her biryani.