Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee

Book Details:
Haunting Jasmine
By Anjali Banerjee
Genre: Fiction
Published 2011, Penguin Group
Paperback, 292 pages
ISBN: 9780425238714

          A call from the past brings divorcee Jasmine Mistry home to Shelter Island to run her beloved aunt's bookstore, which has always been rumored to be haunted. With that knowledge, Jasmine embarks on a mystical journey, urged along by her quirky family, and guided by the highly emotional spirits of long-dead authors. Surprisingly, she finds herself moved to heal her broken heart when she falls unexpectedly in love with an enigmatic young stranger.
I was drawn to this book because it centers around a bookstore that is believed to be haunted. The book also has an flavoring of Indian culture, as the main character is of Indian descent, and her aunt, who owns the bookstore, is from India. The combination is an intoxicating mix that I could not resist.
The main character, Jasmine, agrees to watch over the bookstore for her quirky Aunt Ruma, but she has no experience with books, having not read a book in over a year. She longs to update the bookstore to retail standards, but refuses to get to know the bookstore for what it is. With my own experience working in a bookstore, my fingers itched to shuffle through the treasure trove of books that Auntie's Bookstore held, and to help the many customers with their unique book searches - something I am rather good at. Her lack of respect for the bookstore for much of the book got to be irritating pretty quickly.
Jasmine also has quite a bit of her own baggage, since she is coming out of a messy divorce from a philandering ex-husband. This bitterness colors everything she does, as well as her relationship with her own family. This is where the ghosts of Auntie's Bookstore come into play. There is a reason that her aunt wanted her to come to the bookstore to work - a special gift that she shares with Aunt Ruma - that allow her to eventually fully appreciate and utilize the gifts of this particular bookstore.
The bookstore is the main event in this novel, the characters are merely the vehicle that allow the genius of this bookstore to shine. How I wish I could take a trip to this fantastical place!

The Cover: I wanted to read this book for the cover - what you can't see from the picture is actual glitter, on the pink scarf and on the artistic prints - just beautiful.

First Line: "I didn't see this turn of events coming, or going."
While an incredibly vague opening line, hey, I'm still a bookworm, and I want to know about the source of that gorgeous cover!

Favorite Quote: "You're reinventing yourself. We reinvent ourselves all the time, every minute of every day. You can do it. You can untangle yourself from him."

Read For: Read Your Own Name Challenge, Read Your Own Books Challenge, TBR Pile Challenge

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*


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