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Best Intentions by Simran Dhir Review

Best Intentions
Author: Simran Dhir
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 356
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Publication Date: October 30, 2021

Synopsis of Best Intentions (Goodreads)

Gayatri Mehra is tired of her parents trying to find her a suitable husband. She would much rather focus on the history journal she edits and leave the happily-ever-after to Nandini and Amar, her newly married sister and brother-in-law. But when the journal faces pressure to fall in line from the right-wing SSP, headed by a corrupt godman, Gayatri is forced to seek help from Akshay Grewal, Amar’s brother and elder son of lawyer-turned-politician Gyan Singh Grewal.

Gayatri finds Akshay arrogant and unprincipled; he thinks she is naive and self-righteous.

Enter Vikram Gera, a self-made banker willing to go to any lengths to break into Delhi’s elite circles, even if it means stringing Gayatri along.

As Gayatri and Akshay come together to salvage the situation at the journal, they realize that their siblings’ marriage is coming undone.

Politics, ambition and hard truths collide, and familial bonds are tested. But as they navigate this complex world, Akshay and Gayatri learn that while some things can’t be fixed, love often finds a way.

Best Intentions is a sharply observed and compulsively readable novel of manners marking the arrival of an accomplished new voice.

My Thoughts About Best Intentions

I really enjoyed reading this book very much. ​The situation where the main character is above 30 yrs and not yet married and her parents are forcing her to get married is unfortunately a very relatable situation to many young Indian women (including me to some extent).

There is relevant ​discussion about settling down, getting married, adjusting to new in law’s house, political discussions about one’s opinions are suppressed and when someone is targeted because their opinions offend a faction. In India, all of these situations are quite common and every citizen can understand the sentiments well.

My favorite part about this book was the main character, Gayatri. I absolutely loved her character. She left a high paying job to follow her passion for history and this was admiring and encouraging. She is not ready to back down even when others ask her to. And she is happy not being in a relationship, not wanting to get married, and doing what she loves. In my opinion, she is living the dream. But on the contrary, world sees it as opposite. People see her as a lonely person just because she is not ready to get married. She is relentlessly being asked to get married. But she is headstrong and persistent in her opinions and life choices.

​Then there’s Akshay. He is Nandini’s brother in law. He is a lawyer and he makes questionable decisions in the beginning. But he is gradually influenced by Gayatri’s quest for righteousness. The way Akshay is slowly changing and starting to question his own morality is actually kind of sweet. In a way he was being changed by Gayatri and that felt heartwarming to me seeing him fall for her.

My only issue with this book is it ​focuses on Gayatri’s sister’s troubled marriage way more than I’d like. I wish that angle would’ve been kept to a minimum but it felt very repetitive.

Overall, this book was a pleasant read with some relevant social commentary. I’ll highly recommend this book.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Have you checked out my review for The Heart Principle yet?

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