Book: Crème brûlée
Author: Ramona Sen
Publishers: Rupa Publication
With quite an interest in baking, I am not new to the exotic names of desserts and hence the name of the book “Crème brûlée” by Ramona Sen intrigued me enough to opt for reviewing the story.
One look at the cover and the blurb and I looked forward to read this concoction of subtly brewing love, an eccentric family and a ghostly presence.
The story is centered around two restaurateurs Aabir Mookherjee who runs ‘E&B’ and Kimaya Kapoor who runs ‘The Mad Hatter’. Aabir Mookherjee, an anglicized Bengali returns from Oxford to open his Eggs and Bacon café which is more known for its chocolate mousse. The attractive Kimaya Kapoor opens her café and her desserts gain popularity. While Aabir plans to join hands with Kimaya for his restaurant’s dessert supply, he has to fend off quite a many prospective brides launched on him by his ever whining mother. Falling in love with the quirky proprietress of the Mad Hatter, his uncertainty and dilemma about the relationship are put to rest by his grandma who resides on the coconut tree as a ghost watching over the house and its residents.
I loved the portrayal of relationship between widowed Kimaya and her mother-in-law though it was just in few lines. A loving and understanding mother-in-law who has some life of her own is anybody’s dream. Even Aabir, who though doesn’t approve of certain behavior of his mother but still does not interfere in her way of running the household, is adorable.
The story is very well written. Most of the stories that I have read recently had quite poor use of English Language and more bent upon using ‘Hinglish’ which personally is not to my liking. But this one I enjoyed reading simply because of the language first. But then you expect a Bengali to have good command over the language…
Engaging read from the word go, the story does not lose its tempo and lucidity. The sketches in between the story seem out-of-place however, because it is essentially a fiction love story and not a recipe book. But I would have loved to see a sketch for the surprise decor that Aabir plans for Kimaya’s Mad Hatter, à la Alice in Wonderland style!
All in all a good delectable read for all ages with a seasoning of slight humor and baked to perfection.