Troubador Mr Gupta's Hardware Store

Released: 28/08/2020

ISBN: 9781838594732

eISBN: 9781800467101

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Mr Gupta's Hardware Store


A migrant's tale

Set in 70s suburban London, the hardware store is the apple of Mr Gupta's eye, and he craves Englishness as much as Meera opposes it. She longs for home, India, although the issue of home becomes more complex as time goes on. Just where is it, and once uprooted can one ever truly belong anywhere? Chandu and Babita have their own battles to fight, and together the four become bound to a destiny over which they have little control...

By writing bird's-eye observations of people's lives and believing that the minutiae, the small things that occur often without note, are equally as important and life changing as huge catastrophic events, Karla sets out with passion and skill to bring them to light. Tugging at every known emotion the reader is transported both around the world and through time, to share and be a part of igniting something that will never be forgotten.

Beautifully detailed characters, in a vibrant culture. A.K Karla gives us a story about friendship, love and perseverance while overcoming the struggles of trying to assimilate into a new culture, and still holding onto your identity.

by NetGalley review

Mr Gupta's Hardware Store is a fantastic story about four Indian immigrants in 70s London. It focuses on Meera, Mr Gupta's wife and her struggle with not only her husband and but also her need to find a place she belongs. She travels back to India but even there she is not totally at peace. The story looks at relationships, how people can change, and how we can help people. I loved the characters and how much they grew in the story. The descriptions were so good that I could practically smell the exotic foods and feel the hot summer air. I look forward to reading more by this author.

by NetGalley review

Oh man, this book made me feel so many things.

First, let's get this out of the way--I felt so much sadness at Babita's passing. I can't imagine what it's like to willingly give yourself up to death (knowing my own grandmother died of cancer at a young age; she emphatically did not want to die.)

I found I appreciated the juxtaposition between Meera's father's death and Babita's death. Both clearly meant so much to Meera; missing either's death would have been devastating for her.

Despite the general suspicion felt toward immigrants during the time period in which this book is set, I found almost everyone in the book welcoming toward the Guptas. I especially enjoyed that the Guptas and Chandu formed their own version of a family by the end.

I didn't find Mr. Gupta's change from his old personality to new as convincing as I wished it had been. I know Meera was gone for 3 months, but I didn't feel connected to his loss in a meaningful way. Maybe I read too fast.

by NetGalley review

A. K. Karla has written a rich, sensitive, story that explores the challenges of identity, belonging, and the idea of home through the eyes of emigrants in 1970s London. I highly recommend this book!

by NetGalley review

I'm glad I decided to read this book. I started it with no real expectation of interest but once started, and I make no apology for the cliche, I couldn't put it down. It's about relationships, of acquaintances, family, friends and lovers, I found it charming, funny, thoughtful and very, very sad.
I recommended this book immediately to my family and friends and have no hesitation in recommended to anybody who has a soul.
It's also forced me to download and read 'The House of Rani Kapur', not that I have any complaints at all with that!

by NetGalley review

First time reading this author but i have already put the other books on my wishlist. Loved to see how the Indian families lived different lives trying to fit in with the way of England. Brilliant book

by NetGalley review

Really loved this book, Loved the descriptions of the surroundings, could almost imagine walking through the door of the shop and hearing the doorbell ring and smelling the smell that always seems to be the same in those sort of shops....the characters are well described and their personal victories, failures and triumphs left me reading late into the night! Had we not been in the current Covid situation I would have said that this is one to take on holiday with you but to be honest it was a good read anytime, anywhere . So glad that I requested this and I am already looking for other books by the same author!!!

by NetGalley review

A wonderful read. A look at leaving your homeland moving to London and the struggle to assimilate. The characters really came alive shared their struggles their lives. A moving story excellent writing

by NetGalley review

A story of immigrants and differing ways coping and moving forward. Mr Gupta believes in assimilation that negates his cultural background while this stance frustrates and isolates his wife, Meera, so much that she longs to return to India. His employee, Chandu, chafes under his employer's Scripts like behavior, while his wife, Babita, is Meera's best friend and savior in the foreign land of England. How these four meld, change makes a lovely and poignant story

by NetGalley review

This was an interesting story about four Indian immigrants and their attempts to assimilate in London. You could feel the loneliness and sadness of the characters, particularly Meera. The book certainly had a lot of tear-jerker moments, but it also did a good job of highlighting the struggles and hardships that many immigrants endure. It wasn't all sad however. There were some sweet and humorous moments as well. If you are looking for a character-driven book on the immigrant experience, you won't go wrong with this one.

by NetGalley review

As British immigrants in 1970s London, the characters in this book assimilate themselves differently into British life. Full of the love of life and difficulties joining into a different culture, this book is alternately uplifting and hopelessly sad. Recommended reading, especially if you enjoyed A.K. Karla's novel The House of Rani Kapur.

by NetGalley review

Having recently read The House of Rani Kapur by the same author I was looking forward to this book.

I was not disappointed. It's an enjoyable read, setting out the story of Meera Gupta, wife of Mr Gupta who owns the hardware store.
Mr Gupta tries hard to satisfy his English customers by being as English as they are: and insisting that his wife wear Western style clothes rather than Indian.. Mrs Gupta is not happy with this, and this and several other factors almost lead to their separation.

A tale that is funny and sad, and with characters that are endearing and irritating, this is a good, comfortable and enjoyable read.

I look forward to more books by this author.

by NetGalley review

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