Troubador Maple and Spice

Released: 28/06/2018

ISBN: 9781789013399

eISBN: 9781789011692

Format: Paperback/eBook

Review this Book

Maple and Spice


Monisha Bastikar is twenty-seven years old and has just finished medical school in Vermont. She has three shining goals: to become a wife, a mother and a board-certified Physician. But time is running out, the men in her community are taken and residency at the prestigious St Anthony’s is just around the corner. 

Monisha’s over-ambitious mother Leela tells her all is not lost, for in India there 
are millions of men. Monisha opts for an arranged marriage, leaving her best friend Tina completely bewildered. Mrs Bastikar and her feisty younger sister Aunt Romila trawl through the Mumbai Matrimonials and shortlist Shailesh Kulkarni, a dashing surgeon, with glittering career prospects. On paper he appears to be the perfect match and Monisha can’t believe her luck.

But all is not what it seems and Monisha is faced with some difficult choices. Should she break with cultural traditions and find love the American way, or should she compromise and keep her family happy? 

The search for love takes Monisha on an eventful journey tinged with heartbreak and loss, from Vermont to Mumbai and back again. Eventually she abandons all hope and throws herself into her career. But will she sit back and wait for a prince to rescue her or will she find the courage to rescue herself? 

Maple and Spice is a light-hearted, tragi-comic romp through love and relationships in the twenty-first, century. It also explores the themes of cultural identity, female empowerment and self- fulfilment.

Eastern Chronicle

The Echo of India

As an ardent Indophile, this book has much to commend. An interesting and bittersweet tale of an ambitious young doctor trying to balance a nascent medical career, find love and start a family, all whilst attempting to keep her extended family in two countries happy and complying with her expected cultural norms.
An enjoyable maiden novel.

by Duncan Renn

I read this book knowing virtually nothing about Indian culture. By the time I finished it I knew quite a bit more! I found it to be very informative.
But more than that, it was hillariously funny (real laughing out loud stuff) yet in places achingly sad. A rollercoaster of emotions, this story took me on quite a journey both geographically and emotionally. Several times I found myself thinking: No, you're going in the wrong direction, come back! But of course it made no difference ... us humans are all prone to errors of judgement.
Read this book and go on the same journey I did ... it's well worth it. It ends on a positive note and left me wanting more so I'm now awaiting the sequel !!! I just hope there will be one to see if my own predictions are right!

by Merrill George

A really enjoyable book. A great central character and good supporting characters. Easy and pleasurable to read, but orginal and not predictable and kept me turning the pages. A good and modern take on the "romance" genre.

by Freya M

A fun enjoyable read. Lovely central character, easy to identify with and root for when she marries a bad un! Explores the pressures and uncertainties we all face but with a welcome injection of humour. Recommended.

by Becca

A touching book with beautiful characters that the author made you feel we’re true to life, vivid and honest. The storyline captured your mind and transports you to a different country and way of life where ancient customs and rituals play a huge part in modern life. Sad and poignant at times but with some fantastic life lessons and an insight into a world of hope and high expectations. A must read from a fabulous new author.

by Gayle Goldstein (via NetGalley)

Lovely easy read, ideal book to take on holiday. The main character is very believable and likeable and her struggle with trying to get the perfect marriage, family and career is something that many women can relate to at some time in their lives. Beautifully written the writer takes you to different countries and cultures- you can picture the film already! Would love to know what happens to Monisha next.

by Hafina Sharpe

A very enjoyable book that was easy reading and kept me turning the pages. Highly recommend as a holiday read.

by Annie

One book I couldn’t put down. Totally hooked from the start. Really feel for the main character such a lot to go through. Was upset to get to the end. Can’t wait for the next one by this author hope there’s a follow on x

by Caroline

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and found it almost impossible to put down! It was a wonderful read- interesting, entertaining, poignant and funny all at the same time. The author took the reader on a journey to India and the USA and was able to beautifully immerse the reader in Monisha’s world. It was a most engaging book and I really hope the author treats us to another one soon.

by Ankita Roy

I really enjoyed this book and following Monisha through her adventures in pursuit of true love. The author really brings the characters to life and the descriptions of how suitors are found in arranged marriages and how the ceremony is organised were so interesting. I loved the descriptions of life in Mumbai. The story is very humorous although, not wanting to give too much away, there are episodes of heartbreak. I was sorry when the story came to an end and curious to know what happens to Monisha next.

by SaraE

A very enjoyable book it made it very hard to put it down because the story made you interested it made you want read on to see what happens to her. Hope to to be able read the next book to find what else happens to her. It is a book I would recommend to read.

by Rose mahony

'Maple and Spice' by Moushmi Biswas is a captivating saga of the confusion and dilemma faced by the so called 'second generation immigrants', in cultures across the world. They sometimes sincerely try to balance the demands of their ancestral culture with those of the land where they live and in the process go through a great deal of struggle and mental turmoil.

This novel is a truly engaging saga of that constant struggle, presented from the perspective of the protagonist, a 'second generation immigrant' girl of Indian origin.

I invite all my book loving friends to embark on a wonderful journey by starting to explore this novel.

by Rabirashmi Ghosh

Such a beautifully written book. A real page turner that carries you away to another life. The main character deals with many issues that women think about or have to contend with in life. She does this with her head held high and you can't help but befriend her through the book. I can't wait for the next chapter.

by Julie Lee

A light hearted read but does outline the serious issues related to arranged marriages and complex cultural issues. Relationships and family life are never easy and juggling this with a full time career can cause further headaches. This book highlights that both can be achieved if you have the necessary drive and determination

by LW

Excellent book. Enjoyed the story line. I feel their could be another book as a follow on. It's was easy to read. I loved the characters in the book.

by Jane haines

An enjoyable, easy read with some great characters. Will there be a sequel?

by Sian Ward

Wow, what a read. Loved both the central plot and the characters. I was held captive by each page and wanted more and the author delivered. For a first novel the prose was engaging and the story line flowed seamlessly from each chapter. I found myself constantly smiling as Monisha; the central character was challenged not only by the men in her life but perhaps more so, her over bearing Mother and the expectations of her traditional India culture. Monisha, the westernized doctor looking for true love in the USA, versus the sub-continent arranged marriage (internet dating is not dissimilar) with the 'ticking clock' forever in the back of her mind. This novel was a cross culture roller coaster ride of happiness and disappointment. The author's writing style allowed you to be sympathetic to the central character and her choices because that's how life can be. There are some serious social issues which the author explores and at the same time it had elements of a Nick Hornby novel with a Bollywood bent. A stellar effort for a first novel.

by JR

Maple and Spice by Moushmi Biswas takes you on a heart-warming journey through the life of a young doctor aspiring to have a perfect balance of career, relationship and a family. The novel presents an excellent narration of how life decisions can unfold consequences that are sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter. The story-line developed beautifully around the central theme of the cultural rift that exists within generations of an Indian community settled in the West, is original, realistic and truly captivating. The novel covers all; Career, culture, relationships, ego, deceit, grit and so on, in a spicy mix which is hard to put down once you start. A must read for those who like ‘food for thought’ presented in a delightful platter!
I am looking for more to come from this author……………

by Gurudutt Naik

An easy pleasurable read that was hard to put down. The reader travels through a rollercoaster of emotions with Monisha as she tries to please her family by complying with her cultural upbringing, whilst striving for her own dreams in the modern World in which she grew up. Didn’t want it end and now want to know what Monisha has in store in the next phase of her life

by Siân F

Maple and Spice was a lovely, easy read about an ambitious young woman trying to discover love, life and everything in between. The cultural references definitely made the book more interesting than your usual romance novel. I'm sure this book resonates with many women out there who are going through the same dilemma of chasing their dreams, finding love and also staying true to their roots.

by Noor Farzana

Maple and Spice was a lovely, easy read about an ambitious young woman trying to discover love, life and everything in between. The cultural references definitely made the book more interesting than your usual romance novel. I'm sure this book resonates with many women out there who are going through the same dilemma of chasing their dreams, finding love and also staying true to their roots.

by Nana Aziz

This book follows the life of a very brave woman, Monisha. Her nature was to follow the rules. However to follow the rules left her unhappy and feeling unfulfilled.

Monisha faces many trials and tribulations when she not only pushes her personal boundaries but also those within her community.

A great read, I will definitely look for more books by this author

by Marion Norris

This was an enjoyable and easy book to read. Monisha the main character is looking to find a husband, but all does not run smoothly and there are a few twists and turns in the story. This book gave an insight into the different cultures in America and India. It is quite light hearted in parts but also explores the complex issues in arranged marriages. Hopefully I can look forward to the next installments in Monisha`s life.

by Karen

This was a really good holiday read, I thoroughly enjoyed the ease of reading.
Characters and circumstances were very real and true to life.
I’d like Moushmi to work on a sequel !

by Nicola Barsi

Think of those stories with which an author takes you in that worlds where you believe that you know the characters, you know the places and you know the situations. Think of the stories in which you want to shed a tear or two, be angry and shout at a character, advise some wise words or may be just hug a character.

This is one of those stories for me, in which I wanted to go on next page curious to know what happens next but did not expect to finish so soon.

A journey of a simpleton girl with simpleton dreams deserved to be true...a journey to be a woman with happiness, love- balancing with a high end career. What are the odds things could go wrong???? But they do... she finds herself all alone in the world, in a world she still has everyone—- her mum, dad, aunts as, uncles, friends..but all alone, in search of love.....not so soon realising the search is never ending...

I believe the maple and spice journey....or should I say maple to spice journey ...did no end in this book though the book just concluded on a brighter note.... or should a say on a freash brighter start of a new journey towards happiness...




A thoroughly enjoyable read. An insightful and inspiring account of an Indian woman dealing with the expectations of cultural and family pressures to be who she 'ought'.
Really enjoyed the short chapters, which allowed me to pick up and down regularly.

by Amanda Johns

Enjoyed reading this book. Its a true to life description of a lot of experiences we NRIs (Non Resident Indians) have, flitting between the 2 continents. It also brings home the naivity of the second generation Indians living abroad who are more at home with the culture of their adoptive countries.

by Friend from work

Maple and Spice is an easy to read novel you do not want to put down and have a desire to look at the ending before completing the book. I enjoyed the storyline and depiction of the differences between two different cultures. I am a bit disappointed that the males generally are depicted as uncaring, selfish and without morals. These story characters DO NOT represent the majority of males today. My best to Moushimi who graciously signed her book for me while in the Chicago area.

by Ronald Entzminger

I was humbled to have received this book from the author herself Dr. Biswas as she is the famous diabetes consultant in our local hospital where I trained as a GP many years ago. I am currently GP in Newport. This book was well written, easy to read, quite captivating and engaging, in fact I found it very difficult to put down. Great first novel and I am truly looking forward to part 2 to know what happened next and how she got to where she is now.

The blurb of the novel attracted me as I have a 29 year old daughter who is a doctor. My husband and I immigrated from Iraq 1986 shortly after we finished medical school, my daughter was born 1989 in Reading, she is entirely westernised but there is always been battle between Arabic Muslim traditions and cultures with trying to integrate and enjoy normal life and be like “others”. Battle of self identity, of accepting who you are. However, the book was about the Indian culture of “arranged marriage” which we don’t have in our culture at this day and age. I don’t know whether that makes it easier or harder to find the right man. She is still not married and “the clock is ticking”. Well done Dr. Biswas and many thanks for a great novel from start to finish.

by Dr. Eman Mahmoud

I read this book in a day - forgoing a night's sleep to get it finished! I became so invested in the main character I just couldn't put it down...and once I was finished I wished there was a second instalment so I could find out the next chapter of her life. It was a great story, beautifully written and expertly brought to life. I look forward to reading Moushmi Biswas' next endeavour!

by Nadia Mathieson

Absolutely loved this book! Hadn’t read in a long time and it’s given me the reading bug so a big thank you to the author. Great story and lovely satisfying ending.

by Alexandra Lane

Absolutely loved this book! Hadn’t read in a long time and it’s given me the reading bug so a big thank you to the author. Great story and lovely satisfying ending.

by Alexandra Lane

A highly recommended read. A perfect companion for any holiday! Maple and Spice is incredibly easy to read yet is so beautifully written that all the characters seem to come to life. I was truly fascinated by the description of Life and culture in Mumbai and of arranged marriage. Thoroughly looking forward to the sequel....

by Dawn

I enjoyed reading this book, the ending was unexpected but so emotionally beautiful and im so happy that she found her own happiness without having to conform to cultural rules!

by Noor shah

Really enjoyable easy read, look forward to more books!!

by Sue

Having a close friend whose mother is from India, but she has been brought up in the UK I found this very real as she has battled with her mother re an arranged marriage and the fact that her degree was not in law or medicine.
It’s also nice to hear about another culture/way of life re the wedding ceremony. Beautiful descriptions of the event.
Women’s rights, we are getting there folks and this book shows that point.

by Julia James

Well written,informative, interesting story which concentrates on the difficulties that arose from an arranged marriage.

by Caegwyn

A delightful story of an intelligent woman's struggles to find happiness in a complicated world of work and obligation. The descriptions of Indian life, cities and characters are so vivid I could taste the samosas.
Highly recommended

by Helen R

I loved this book. The main character was so likeable you just couldn’t help wanting it to all work out for her. Great demonstration of the culture clash and values that contribute to the challenges of dating and marriage. Prose that draws you in. It was like visiting a family every evening. Very enjoyable!

by Ama

Delightful holiday read- really enjoyed this book - we don’t get to hear this side of things, I’d love to know what happened next….

by Wendy Dew

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