Parallel Paradise

Bold Strokes. Aug. 2022. 113p. ebk. ISBN 9781636792040. $5.99. LGBT ROMANCE
DEBUT Before starting her first international tour, British lawyer-turned-pop-star Bindi takes an obligatory trip to visit Assam, where her mother’s family lives. Her cousin Dhona, a drunken womanizer who is in line to become chief minister, is her host, but it’s his bored, condescending wife Rimli who attracts Bindi’s attention. Bindi and Rimli have a secret affair, which Bindi assumes will be a short-lived and insignificant fling. When Rimli seizes the opportunity to study in the UK, away from Dhona, the women have an opportunity to explore something more serious. This is a novella-length romance, but it covers a significant period of time and major changes in characters’ attitudes, so a lot is told rather than shown through Bindi’s first-person narration.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy being told a story by a confidante, rather than watching a narrative unfold, may enjoy seeing Bindi fall for Rimli and develop the courage to come out publicly in Chowdhury’s first romance novel.
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