Roseheart, by Catherine Dehdashti is a story about family, set in the 1990s, and told through the sardonic voice of Valerie Kjos. She’s a a young Midwestern Gen X’er whose life is just barely coming together with her boyfriend when his Iranian mother, Goli, comes for a visit that seems to never end.
Valerie will have to decide what’s more important to her—doing everything her own way, or her beloved Naveed with his live-in mother, who might not approve if she knew everything about her. But as she’s about to learn, Goli has secrets of her own.
Quirky fun and relaxing read. If life is a journey this is Valerie’s journey. The diary like chic-lit writing style gives it a certain Bridget Jones diary feel.
Whilst I am not really a fan of chic lit, preferring fiction with more substance, I did enjoy this novel. In true chic lit style it is written in the first person and Valerie the main character is likeable, amusing and being far from perfect also easy to relate to. The identity of Roseheart pictured on the cover surprisingly is not Valerie, as I’d initially assumed. It is only later into the story that we learn the connection and who it is.
I particularly enjoyed the multicultural element and the fly on the wall insights into American Persian culture, food and family life. The first chapter did a really good job of pulling me in, but later into the book it was her relationship with her mother-in-law which kept me interested. Two thirds of the way through the book and still enjoying it I started to wonder where it was going.
Whilst admittedly light fiction there is more than enough going on in Valerie’s life as well as some surprises to keep a reader interested. At times I found the writing a bit flat and it jumped about a bit but that is probably intentional or simply chic-lit style. The last chapter pulls it together well, with the ending being unexpected.
A well written debut novel, recommended as a light and relaxing read for chic lit fans and foodies.
- Format: Kindle
- Publisher: Causy Taylor Literary Publishing (1 May 2015)