BOOK REVIEW – Those Delicious Letters

by Sandeepa Datta Mukherjee

Original Book Cover of Those Delicious Letters.
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Image Copyright 2021
Book Review

Book Name: Those Delicious Letters

Author Name:  Sandeepa Datta Mukherjee

Book Published on Date: 20 August 2020

Genre: Autobiographical novel, Domestic Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A few memorable quotes from this book:

“Remember, food does not only feed the body, Moni, it feeds your soul.” – Didan

“Everything is all right in the end. If it’s not all right, then it is not the end. #takeyoursecondchance” – Shubha

“Don’t get dejected by the difficulty of it, keep at it and you will succeed. Life has a surprising way of working out its problems. The only thing you have to do is have faith and keep at it.” – Didan

Brief Summary:

The story is about Shubhalaxmi Sen-Gupta, aka Shubha. The day after her fortieth birthday, she accidentally becomes the recipient of a letter from an unknown sender known as Didan from Kolkata. It carries a heartfelt message for her grandkid named Moni and a recipe for a traditional Bengali dish. Every month, thenceforward, Shubha keeps receiving these letters in her name and address, though the actual person addressed in the letter was someone else. Each letter shared a glimpse of Didan’s past life, along with a recipe very close to her heart. Initially, Shubha tries to return those letters. However, when she fails to do so, she decides to keep those letters and return them to the original sender personally. Meanwhile, struggling in her relationship and stagnant existence, Shubha finds solace in these letters and tries to rekindle the love and thrill in her life with the recipes. Will she be successful in fixing her own life and find Didan, who unknowingly influenced her life?

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Before I share my opinion, I would like to say that I loved this book because it has this nostalgic feeling until the end. For people who might not know, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal, a place in India. Bengalis are native to this state and follow the culture and speak the language known as Bengali.

Our protagonist Shubha is like many middle-aged people who have sacrificed so much in life that they eventually start feeling their existence meaningless. Shubha’s insecurities and dilemmas are relatable. When she rediscovers herself, it is motivating. Every character influences the narrative in a way that they are indispensable.

The Didan (aka the unknown grandmother and the original sender of the letters) character is extraordinarily portrayed. Her life story makes you laugh and cry and feel every emotion that she tried to convey in her letters. The letters highlight the different forgotten traditions and some mouth-watering classic Bengali recipes. They show the richness of the Bengali culture and their cuisine, which people have almost forgotten in this fast-paced world.

The language used is simple yet maintains the literary standards. Each scene depicts the required emotion effortlessly.
Shubha’s social media updates, responses to any conversation, and her many conflicting inner thoughts are a treat to read. They are so realistic, and time-to-time tickles your funny bone. The story is entertaining, and the plot twists are unpredictable.

Overall, I will recommend this book to anyone who wants a light-hearted read and loves to try new recipes of different cultures.


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